Home–school relationships have always been a cornerstone of children’s success and well-being. But cultivating positive, supportive partnerships between educators and families is an ongoing process, one that requires reciprocal respect and communication to grow. Use the practical information and ideas in this book to develop and embed a culture of family engagement in all aspects of your early childhood program, from curriculum planning to addressing children’s individual needs, by:
• Creating a welcoming environment for families
• Providing many ways for families to engage in the program and their children’s learning
• Ensuring two-way communication and addressing communication challenges
• Building on learning opportunities families already provide at home
• Supporting diverse home languages and cultures
• Collaborating on community-wide efforts
Packed with strategies, resources, and examples from early childhood programs, this book illustrates numerous ways to engage families in your early childhood community so that together, families + educators = thriving children.
- Chapter 1: Understanding Family Engagement
- Chapter 2: The Role of Teachers in a Comprehensive Family Engagement Approach
- Chapter 3: Family Engagement in Action
- Chapter 4: Communicating with Families
- Chapter 5: Connecting Home and Program Teaching and Learning
- Chapter 6: Partnering with the Community
- Appendix: Family Engagement Resources
- About the Authors
The title says it all! For everyone who works with young children, this essential book is easy to read and well researched, and it includes many family engagement stories that connect that research to real-life experiences. The practical strategies emphasize how children’s learning is enhanced when families are engaged and involved in the process.
—Barbara Kaiser, Consultant, Trainer, and Co-author of Challenging Behavior in Young Children
This is an important book for teachers, coaches, program leaders, family educators, and anyone who wants to build culturally responsive relationships with families. The strategies, resources, and examples of effective family engagement in this book are based on current research and theories on how to build mutual, respectful family partnerships.
—Debbie LeeKeenan, Early Childhood Consultant and Co-author of From Survive to Thrive and Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs
This valuable resource is a compelling call to action for a strengths-based approach to partnering with families. With examples of effective practice, reflection questions, family engagement stories, and other tools and information, this resource is useful for educators and teacher preparation programs to support a family-strengthening framework for partnering with families.
—Jamilah R. Jor’dan, PhD, Interim Dean, College of Education and Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Bilingual Education, Chicago State University
What is most useful about this book is its accessible blending of child development theory with practical, everyday examples of practice with children and families. It illustrates what respectful, reciprocal relationships between families and staff really look like when done well.
—Valora Washington, Chief Executive Officer, Council for Professional Recognition
This team of accomplished early childhood educators captures the true essence of family engagement, complete with strategies and tools to partner with families. The family engagement stories illustrate creative ways programs work with families and communities. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter propel educators deeper into each topic, making this book a rich resource.
—Linda Gillespie, Family and Infant Development Specialist
Throughout this insightful book, there is a continual thread of building on family strengths and understanding a family’s needs and hopes for their child. It describes how respectful, reciprocal relationships can be established with families to positively impact the development of young children. The authors describe many meaningful and effective ways to engage new families, encourage multigenerational participation, and keep the relationship growing.
—Rebecca Isbell, Early Childhood Consultant, Author, and Professor Emerita, Department of Early Childhood Education, East Tennessee State University