Idaho AEYC is a national leader in creating and delivering training based on the Strengthening Families Framework. The toolbox training is designed to make Strengthening Families through Early Care and Education accessible to child care providers, by using a curriculum that turns abstract research into concrete, day-to-day, practice.

Training Levels

The Strengthening Families basic level trainings consist of one 3-hour "Overview" module plus seven 2-hour modules corresponding to each of the seven Strengthening Families strategies—a total of 17 hours of training. They are all IdahoSTARS project approved trainings in Component 10, Protective Factors.

These seven strategies support the five Protective Factors which are the basis of the Strengthening Families framework. See the IdahoSTARS Project Training Calendar for trainings in your region.

  • Module 1-Overview
  • Module 2-Value and Support Parents
  • Module 3-Facilitate Friendships and Mutual Support
  • Module 4-Facilitate Children's Social and Emotional Development
  • Module 5-Strengthening parenting
  • Module 6-Link Families to Services and Opportunities
  • Module 7-Respond to Family Crises
  • Module 8-Observe and Respond to Early Warning Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect

Peaceful Contacts is a web based advanced level Strengthening Families training. It consists of several webinar class meetings plus several assignments, and delves more deeply into some of the topics central to the Strengthening Families framework. 15 IdahoSTARS project training hours are awarded upon completion.


In 2007, in collaboration with the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, the first version of the Strengthening Families Toolbox Training was developed and piloted throughout the state. Jane Zink and Maureen Durning of Idaho AEYC and Margaret Hower of Idaho CTF were the primary authors of the curriculum. This original training was six modules, 13 hours. Seven trainers delivered the trainings to 22 pilot sites.

In 2008, the training toolbox was expanded to its current 8-module, 17 hour format and 8 additional trainers were trained. In 2010, another 15 trainers were trained, bringing the Idaho training team total to 30.