Incredible Years (IYS) Parenting Program Series

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Target Population: 
Academic Performance, Behavioral Problems, Emotional Competency, Parenting, School Readiness, Social Competency
Target Audience 

This program is for parents of infants and toddlers (i.e., 0 to 3 years old), children who are 3 to 6 years old, and youth who are 6 to 12 years old. It is intended to impact parents and children.


The Incredible Years® (IYS) Parenting Program Series, a group of community- and family-based programs, is designed to increase and support parenting skills; enhance parents’ involvement in their children’s academic and school experiences; improve children’s academic, social, and emotional abilities; and reduce behavioral problems.


Multiple randomized control trials of the IYS Parenting Program Series have shown significant change including increases in positive and nurturing parenting style, involving an increase in praise and effective discipline; decreases in harsh discipline techniques; increases in parent involvement in child’s school; decreases in negative child behavior at home and school; reductions of parental depression; increases in parental self-confidence; and increases in positive family communication and problem–solving.  Children previously diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder, whose parents participated in the parenting series, were found to be in the non-clinical range at the 1-year and 3-year follow-up assessments.


The IYS Parenting Program Series contains components that are age specific.

  • Parents and Babies Program (0 to 12 months) is a six-part program designed to teach parents to understand their infants’ cues and how to provide nurturing and responsive care.
  • Parents and Toddlers Program (1 to 3 years) is an eight-part program focused on strengthening positive and nurturing parenting skills. The series includes child-directed play, toddler language skill promotion, social and emotional coaching, praise and encouragement usage, spontaneous incentives for toddlers, separation and reunion adjustment, and positive discipline skills.
  • Preschool/Early Childhood BASIC Series (3 to 6 years) is a four-part program developed to enhance parenting skills and includes program components such as strengthening children’s social skills, emotional regulation, and school readiness skills; encouraging cooperative behavior through praise and incentives; and using positive discipline strategies.
  • School-Age BASIC Series (6 to 12 years) is a three-part program designed to teach parents the importance of implementing positive behaviors with their children such as building social skills and using effective praise.
  • ADVANCE Series (4 to 12 years) is a three-part program that can supplement the BASIC School-Age program.  This program addresses family risk factors and provides self-control, communication, and problem-solving strategies.
Previous Use 

IYS Parenting Program Series has been implemented among multiple ethnic groups and social classes in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.  Positive results have been found with Asian, Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian groups.


Those interested in facilitating the program must become certified.  Facilitators include teachers, therapists, and counselors, and they receive extensive, group-based training to conduct the parent interventions at a workshop hosted by an already-certified trainer.  Following the workshop, facilitators must conduct at least two group sessions and obtain evaluations from parents attending the sessions and a certified trainer.  Facilitators then complete an application to become certified.  For further information, please visit


Considerations for implementing the IYS Parenting Program Series include securing trained and certified facilitators and coordinators, procuring funds to cover costs associated with training and implementation, recruiting participants, understanding attrition may be a problem, ensuring participants complete home activities, and providing childcare.  A questionnaire checklist was developed for organizations to determine their readiness and capacity for implementing the program.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


If you are interested in implementing IYS Parenting Program Series, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Parent group sessions are conducted weekly for 2 to 2 1/2 hours in groups of 10 to 14 parents.  Each program requires a different time commitment.


The Baby & Toddler program costs $1,395; the Preschool Basic program costs $1,595; the School Age Basic program costs $1,300, and the Advanced program costs $995.  Evidence-based prevention programs are cost effective as determined by Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2013).  For every dollar spent on the implementation of IYS Parenting Program Series, there is a return on investment of $0.85.

Evaluation Plan 

The Clearinghouse can help you to develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals.
Please call: 1-877-382-9185 or email:


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185     Email:

You may also contact by mail Lisa St. George, Administrative Director, 1411 8th Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119, phone 1-888-506-3562, email, or visit

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.