August 2023 Newsletter – Family Engagement Strategies: Family Engagement in the Classroom

Family Engagement in the Classroom

Too often, family engagement is seen as a responsibility of program management and while many initiatives are managed at the program level, there are many things teachers can do to engage with families in positive ways. Below is a list of strategies that teachers can put in place that show appreciation and value of individual families and their needs:

  • Find out each family member’s preferred communication method (phone call, text, email, written note, etc.) and begin to use those methods whenever possible.
  • Conduct family surveys or interviews (online, in person, or on paper) to learn more about the values families have related to early childhood education. You may learn that some families don’t realize the importance of early learning in preparing children for Kindergarten and beyond.
  • Conduct family-teacher conferences throughout the year. Use this time to learn about the goals families have for children and work to create appropriate goals for their children. Provide appointment slots at different times of day and offer to conduct the meetings virtually, via phone, and in person.
  • Provide parenting resources and information designed to help families understand child development. The CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. is a great resource to share.  These resources will help families create realistic developmentally appropriate expectations for their children.
  • Share activity ideas that promote development across all areas of development, not just cognitive development. Attempt to show families the importance of strengthening social and emotional development to prepare children for school in addition to cognitive skills.
  • Enhance professional cultural competence skills through ongoing training and mentoring. There is always room to grow in the area of cultural responsiveness.
  • Continue to include family photos and child-friendly family memorabilia in the classroom environment. Invite families to share stories, favorite songs, traditions, etc., which can be presented in person, via video, or through virtual meeting platforms if your program has the technology to communicate in this fashion in the classroom. This opens the door for family members outside of the immediate community to engage with your program.
  • Model strategies that build the skills you are working on in the classroom. You can do this in person, via video, or virtual meetings.
  • Utilize social media to engage with families. Ask questions, highlight student achievements, recognize specials event, and share resources. Follow all social media policies set forth by your program.

These are just a few ideas to enhance the level of family engagement in your classroom. Keep in mind that family members are unique and engagement strategies should not be one-size-fits-all!

Check with your state or program to see if there are additional resources. The MSDE Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework contains tons of ideas for you to consider.


For the main article Family Engagement Strategies, CLICK HERE

For the article Goals of Family Engagement, CLICK HERE

For the article Engaging with Diverse Families, CLICK HERE

For the article Program Strategies for Family Engagement, CLICK HERE