About Us

Our Story Continued

In the 1980’s, NCAST became a self-sustaining organization at the University of Washington that reached beyond traditional academic or continuing education programs to advance knowledge around the world for the benefit of families and children.

The Feeding and Teaching scale program was recreated in 2018 and is currently known as the NCAST Parent-Child Interaction (PCI) Program. Since the beginning, over 800 Certified Instructors representing almost every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries have been prepared to teach. Certified NCAST Instructors have taught more than 20,000 health care professionals in the use of the NCAST PCI Feeding and Teaching scales.  The scales are being used in many settings, including state, provincial, and county health departments, community outreach programs, hospitals, clinics and universities and in various disciplines such as public health nursing, social work, childcare, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics.

The PCI Feeding & Teaching scales are also widely used in research all over the world. They have been used in major studies including the Administration of Children, Youth and Families’ study, the Memphis New Mother Project, The David Olds Study and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study:Birth Cohort, Comprehensive Child Care programs and projects promoted by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, to name a few.

Dr. Jean Kelly, professor emeritus at the University of Washington’s Family-Child Nursing Department, served as NCAST Programs Director from 2001-2009. Under her direction, several new innovative programs were developed including Promoting First Relationships®, Promoting Maternal Mental Health During Pregnancy, and BabyCues® A Child’s First Language.

In 2009, Dr. Monica Oxford, research professor at the Department of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington, became the new Executive Director of NCAST Programs. NCAST Programs now represents the work of faculty from the Department of Family and Child Nursing and the Center for Human Development and Disability. It continues to develop dynamic educational programs which combine research and practice with various teaching strategies to assist professionals working with infants, young children, and families.

In 2018, the Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and NCAST Programs joined forces. The Barnard Center is the umbrella entity and NCAST Programs is now the dissemination arm known as Parent-Child Relationship Programs at the Barnard Center. The new name better reflects the broad range of programs that are offered.