The Incredible Years®

The Incredible Years® (IY) is an early childhood emotional and social health program designed to increase a child’s success at school and at home by promoting positive parent, teacher, and child relationships. The program improves school performance, reduces child behavior problems, promotes positive and consistent discipline, and supports caregivers through a holistic approach involving children, parents, and teachers.


IY addresses the unique needs of each audience through distinct, yet integrated components and skill-building programs. Each component has been created to be culturally sensitive and developmentally age appropriate.

  •  Dinosaur School includes 60 lessons delivered 2-3 times per week in pre-school or kindergarten classrooms. Trained teachers co-lead the lessons using life-size puppets, engaging activities, games, and video vignettes. The lessons focus on how to solve problems, control one’s anger, self-monitor one’s emotions, succeed in school, and make friends.
  • The Parenting Program is delivered through a series of 14 weekly parent group meetings. Trained co-leaders guide the group of 10-14 parents as they learn strategies and skills known to promote children’s social competence and reduce behavior problems such as: how to play with children, social, emotional, academic and persistence skills coaching, effective praise and use of incentives, establishing predictable routines and rules and promoting responsibility, effective limit-setting, strategies to manage misbehavior and teaching children to problem solve.
  • In the Teacher Classroom Management portion of the program teachers learn positive teaching strategies (focusing on what children are doing well), how to connect to children with challenging behaviors, and how to help those children control their behaviors, among many other essential skills and strategies for classroom management.


IIK bridges the gap between research and practice, allowing communities to provide services with proven effectiveness. In order to know that we are successfully bridging that gap, it must be shown that our locally implemented programs achieve results annually that are similar to those produced in the research, which began in 1982. Numerous studies since that time have documented its effectiveness in preventing a wide array of early childhood issues. To that end, we rigorously evaluate our programs and our role in implementing them. Statewide highlights from the 2015-2016 IY Annual Report include statistically significant impacts in the following areas:

  • Children’s social competence gains, including: Prosocial/Communication Skills, Emotion Regulation Skills and Academic Skills
  • Parent’s increased use of positive parenting, including: Appropriate Discipline, Positive Verbal Discipline, Clear Expectations, and Praise and Incentives
  • Parent’s decreased use of negative parenting, including: Harsh and Inconsistent Discipline and Physical Punishment
  • 85% of teachers reported the program met his or her goals for social-emotional development (87%)
  • 98% of parents reported the program improved the problem(s) that originally prompted them to take this program

To see the full statewide report from the 2015-2016 school year for The Incredible Years program, please go here.