As you head into the new school year, you may be creating a set of goals or aspirations for the year. Hopefully, family engagement is on the list of things you would like to focus on with more intention this year. Family engagement has shown, in study after study, to have a positive impact on program quality and family experience, in addition to helping children be more prepared for kindergarten.
According to the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement, there are a few key features the programs use to create an environment that is optimal for family engagement:
- Cultural & Linguistic Responsiveness – the program reflects the diversity of families (including but not limited to: gender, employment/occupation, disability status, culture, language, income, age, race/ethnicity, etc.).
- Equity – which may be described as the elimination of privilege, oppression, disparities, and disadvantage.
- Inclusiveness – every child truly is included and the individual needs of each child are considered and valued
- Positive & Goal Oriented Relationships – program staff create and sustain relationships with families through positive communication that is responsive to families’ preferences. Program staff also collaborate with families to identify family and child goals, develop action plans, and jointly make decisions about how to achieve goals.
Whether you are a member of leadership, or work directly with children and families in a classroom, now is the best time to evaluate your environment and your program practices to ensure that they align with these key features.
Be sure to check out the resources shared in this newsletter below that will help you create positive and valuable family engagement initiatives.
For the article on Why Focus on Family Engagement, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Goals of Family Engagement Initiatives, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Family Engagement Reflection Tool for Staff, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Director’s Corner Family Engagement Competencies for Supervisors, CLICK HERE.