OBJECTIVE: The goal was to assess the acceptability and appropriateness of using a violence prevention curriculum, Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure, at Head Start centers.
METHODS: Eight 90-minute focus groups (4 parent groups and 4 family advocate groups) were conducted at 2 Head Start centers. Each discussion was audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed for major themes.
RESULTS: A total of 63 adults (38 family advocates [92% female] and 25 parents [100% female]) participated in the 8 groups. Family advocates and parents agreed that Head Start was an important source of parenting advice and of referrals to community resources. Connected Kids topics were well received, although potential parental resistance to gun safety and discipline materials was identified. The positive nature of the advice was important to both types of groups. Brochures were generally well liked, but all groups thought that they should be linked directly to community resource information and offered as part of tailored education. Various venues for curriculum use were suggested, and formats involving multiple media were requested. Although Head Start serves preschool-aged children, parents and family advocates valued access to the full range of Connected Kids materials (for ages 0–18 years). Family advocates emphasized that supplementary materials on background information and delivery methods would be essential for effective implementation of Connected Kids at Head Start.
CONCLUSIONS: Head Start family advocates and parents found the Connected Kids curriculum desirable. Although modifications might improve its usefulness, the curriculum seems acceptable and appropriate for the Head Start environment.