Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims:
A safe, secure, nurturing and stimulating early childhood caregiving environment promotes children's social, emotional and cognitive development. The aim of this study is to evaluate 'The Irie Homes Toolbox', a combined violence prevention and early childhood development intervention that will be delivered in community preschools to parents of young children. The intervention aims to reduce child abuse and neglect and to promote positive parent-child interaction and stimulation in the home. The study will test whether training parents in behaviour management, child-directed play and interactive reading leads to benefits to parenting practices including reductions in harsh punishment and increases in play and positive parent-child interaction. The study will also evaluate whether there are benefits for the children of participating parents, including child behaviour, school readiness and language skills.

Who can participate?
Parents and children aged 3-6 years at preschools in Kingston and St Andrew, Jamaica

What does the study involve?
Schools are randomly allocated into one of two groups. Parents of children attending schools in group 1 (intervention group) are invited to participate in training sessions which cover skills in managing child behaviour, child-directed play and interactive reading. Sessions are conducted with groups of six parents for about one hour a week for eight weeks. Parents attending schools in group 2 (comparison group) are not offered the training sessions.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Parents will be trained in evidence-based behaviour management strategies and it is anticipated that this will lead to benefits including a reduction in negative and an increase in positive parent parenting practices leading to improved child behaviour, school readiness and language skills. Risks to participants are minimal.

Where is the study run from?
Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies, Kingston (Jamaica)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
August 2018 to August 2019

Who is funding the study?
Grand Challenges Canada

Who is the main contact?
Dr Helen Baker-Henningham

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Helen Baker-Henningham


Contact details

Caribbean Institute for Health Research
University of the West Indies

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

The Irie Homes Toolbox: a cluster randomised trial of a universal, parent training, violence prevention programme in community preschools in Jamaica


Study hypothesis

Training parents of preschool aged children in appropriate discipline practices and in ways to engage their child in appropriate play activities will lead to:
1. Reductions in parents’ use of harsh punishment and
2. Increases in parents’ positive parenting practices
The trialists also hypothesise that the parent training will lead to improved behaviour, language and school readiness skills for the children of participating parents.

Ethics approval

1. University of the West Indies ethics committee, 01/06/2018, ref: ECP 144, 17/18
2. School of Psychology ethics committee, 21/08/2018, ref: 2018-16364

Study design

Two-arm single-blind cluster-randomised controlled trial with parallel assignment

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet


Violence, parenting practices, mental health


Community preschools will be randomised to participate in the intervention (9 schools, 108 parents) or to a no-treatment control arm (9 schools, 108 parents).

The intervention involves training the parents of preschool children in child behaviour management strategies, child-led play and interactive reading. The content of the program is based on evidenced informed parenting practices that improve parenting behaviour and reduce child behaviour problems. Parents will be trained in four key concepts: i) building positive relationships between parent and child (e.g. praise, child-led play, involving child in everyday activities, understanding emotions), ii) preventing misbehaviour (e.g. understanding why children misbehave, giving children independence and autonomy, giving clear instructions, setting rules and expectations, modelling appropriate behaviour), iii) managing misbehaviour (e.g. redirecting child, withdrawing attention, setting limits, giving appropriate consequences) and iv) play activities and interactive book reading.

Intervention delivery: The intervention will be delivered jointly by a member of the research team and a teacher from the school who has been trained in the Irie Classroom Toolbox. The program will be conducted weekly for eight weeks during the Christmas school term with a group of six parents in each school and then repeated with another group of six parents in the Spring term. Sessions will last one hour and will be held at the study preschools either in the morning when parents come to drop off their children or in the afternoon when they come for pickup. Sessions will be held either in the school yard or any available quiet space. During each session, a new behaviour management concept and a play or language activity will be introduced. Parents will be given materials to take home after each session including a card highlighting the key concepts covered and a toy or book to practice the activities that were introduced in the session.

Control condition: The participating parents in control schools will not receive the parenting sessions. They will continue to be invited to the regular school activities.

All parents will receive a gift for their child after being interviewed at baseline and post-test.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

1. Parents' use of harsh punishment
2. Parents' use of positive parenting practices
Both of these outcomes will be assessed by parent report using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and will be measured at baseline and post-test

Secondary outcome measures

Secondary outcomes:
1. Child behaviour difficulties at home by parent report
2. Child prosocial behaviour at home by parent report
3. Child behaviour difficulties at school by teacher report
4. Child prosocial behaviour at school by teacher report
These outcomes will be measured at baseline and post-test

Additional secondary outcomes:
1. Child school readiness skills by direct testing
2. Child language skills by direct testing
These outcomes will be measured in the Summer term only - i.e. 1-5 months after the end of the intervention

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

All community preschools situated in a specified geographical region of Kingston and that participated in a previous trial of the Irie Classroom Toolbox will be eligible for participation in the study. Parents of children attending the selected schools will be recruited.

Inclusion criteria for parents are:
1. Available and interested to participate in the parenting sessions
2. Has a child attending the school and intends the child to continue attending the school during the current school year
3. Parent gives consent for him/herself and his/her child to participate in the study

One child for each parent will be recruited. When a parent has more than one child attending the school, the youngest child will be recruited

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

18 community preschools will participate in the study. Within each school, 12 parents will be recruited (to give a total of 216 parents). One child for each parent will be recruited giving a total of 12 children/school (216 children).

Participant exclusion criteria

Parents of children with obvious disabilities (these parents will be permitted to participate in the training sessions, but they will not be included in the evaluation)

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Caribbean Institute for Health Research
University of the West Indies Mona

Sponsor information


University of the West Indies

Sponsor details


Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Grand Challenges Canada

Alternative name(s)

Grands Défis Canada, GCC

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government



Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.

IPD sharing statement
The data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2020 results in (added 19/11/2020)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

19/11/2020: Publication reference added. 04/06/2020: The intention to publish date was changed from 31/12/2019 to 31/12/2020.