Skip to main content
Engage, Measure, Act
Parent Gauge™
PFCE Measurement Tool

What is Parent Gauge?
Parent Gauge™ is a web-based instrument that measures parent experience and the impact of early childhood programs’ engagement efforts. You can view a recording of a recent webinar that covers the origin story, a live demonstration, and more information about what is included with an annual subscription. 

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 have access to view specific data that maintains privacy standards yet allows for analysis at each level.

How does Parent Gauge work?
Parent Gauge™ consists of an interview with both scaled, closed-ended questions that can be tabulated into reports as well as open-ended questions with the ability to upload audio files or fields to transcribe what is discussed in the interview.

Here is a sample of the interview questions.

Can I conduct Parent Gauge interviews in a language other than English?
Parent Gauge™ interview questions are currently available in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

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 15-20 minutes each on average.

How will I use the data collected in the interviews?
Parent Gauge™ offers both baseline and growth reporting on the various dimensions of the PFCE framework that can help inform your programs which areas are strongest and where there are opportunities for improvement. The audio from interviews can be reviewed to gain additional insight into parents’ experiences.  

What kind of training and support will we receive?
Subscribers to Parent Gauge™ will receive several levels of support to ensure successful implementation, included in the price of the subscription. Prior to use, NHSA and NORC at the University of Chicago will co-host orientation and training webinars for administrative and program level staff. This will be supplemented by user guides. A customer support line and email will be available for individual questions, and NHSA will facilitate an online user group to address common questions and share insights across programs.

How much does Parent Gauge cost?
The annual subscription to Parent Gauge™ is a base usage fee of $1500 plus $3 per family. Very small programs (under 100 children) qualify for a discounted, $800 base usage fee. NHSA members receive a 15% discount off their total price. For example, if you plan to interview 300 families, the price would be $1500 + ($3 x 300) = $2400; apply the Member discount and the ultimate cost would be $2,040.
How many families should I interview?
To derive full value from Parent Gauge™, we recommend that you interview a parent/guardian from every family that you serve. Programs are welcome, however, to experiment with the tool by selecting a subgroup of classrooms and centers, in which case they should base their purchase estimate on the number of families to be interviewed in the subscription year. For the results of smaller interview numbers to be extrapolated program-wide, programs should deploy stratified, random samples. When properly conducted, random sampling can provide useful program-wide feedback, but we recommend that the program has a backup instrument for assessing the needs of families not included in Parent Gauge interviews.

If I license this software, can my delegates access it?
Yes - please include the total headcount of all families served by you and your delegate agencies when entering this number on the order form.

I purchased the annual license, now what?
Parent Gauge™ will be available for you and your team in late August, with trainings beginning the week of August 28th. After completing your order, NHSA will reach out to you with further instructions regarding system access and next steps, along with the invoice.
How can I contact NHSA with questions?
Please email us at if you need further information or help completing your order.

“It was very enlightening to find out how pleased parents are with the EHS gave us, as a program, some items to consider improving.” - Gulf Regional Early Head Start