What is Parent Gauge?

Parent Gauge™ is a web-based tool that measures parent experience and the impact of your program’s engagement efforts.

The tool is a guided 20-minute interview between staff and families and is made up of open- and close-ended questions.


Who can use Parent Gauge?

Parent Gauge™ is a tool intended for use by all Head Start programs and can be useful for any and every staff member. There are multiple levels of access: Family service workers and teachers, Center Admins, Program Admins, and State Admins. Each has access to view specific data that maintains privacy standards yet allows for analysis at each level.

Frontline staff—like teachers, family service workers, and home visitors—conduct interviews with all families in the program.

Staff get immediate feedback from the conversation, and leadership gets quantitative data to inform and improve parent engagement activities.


How long does it take to administer an interview?

There are approximately 25 close-ended questions and 10 open-ended questions. While the length of each interview will vary based on how much the parent shares during the open-ended questions, you should expect interviews to take 20 minutes each on average.


How is Parent Gauge different from a Strengths and Needs Assessment?

Parent Gauge goes beyond just counting inputs and outputs and is not just a survey that asks parents to report on their housing status, employment status, etc. Programs that use Parent Gauge still get this information, but in the context of learning about parents’ own strengths and their perceptions of how the program is and is not supporting them.


How do I get Parent Gauge? How much does it cost?

Parent Gauge is a tool with an annual subscription model. Subscriptions run from July 1 one year to June 30 the next.

For the 2020-2021 school year:

There is a base fee of $2,000 plus $4 per family. Very small programs (under 100 funded slots) qualify for a discounted, $1,000 base fee. NHSA members receive a 15% discount off their total price.

For example, if your program serves 300 families, the price would be $2,000 + ($4 x 300) = $3,200; apply the member discount and the ultimate cost would be $2,720.

For the 2021-2022 school year:

The Parent Gauge team is simplifying the pricing structure for the upcoming subscription year. Pricing will now be dependent on grant size and programs can conduct as many interviews with as many families as desired without restrictions.


What kind of training and support will we receive?

Subscribers receive several levels of support to ensure successful implementation, all included in the price of the subscription. Prior to use, NHSA offers orientation and training webinars for administrative and program level staff. This will be supplemented by user guides. A customer support line and email are be available for individual questions, and NHSA facilitates an online user group to address common questions and share insights across programs.


How do I get started?

After submitting your order, the Parent Gauge team will reach out to you within 3-5 days with further instructions regarding system access and next steps, along with an invoice.


What if I have more questions?

Just reach out! You can contact us at parentgauge@nhsa.org