Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. Research shows that children whose families are involved in the education of their children are more successful in school and in life. When caregivers, teachers, medical providers, therapists and other service providers develop trusting and collaborative relationships with families, children benefit. This is especially true for children with disabilities. Mutually respectful partnerships between families and professionals help to ensure that children receive the services and supports they need to support their education and development. Building partnerships should start when a baby is born and continue as a child begins their journey in a child care setting, and throughout their school-age years. Developing healthy and strong family and community relationships is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to positive child outcomes.
The MAP… Making Access Possible Project team has identified the following websites and resources that support family engagement and promote partnerships with families.
10 things the World Can Learn from People with Disabilites
In this Huffington Post article Tiffany Carlson, a writer with a disability, shares her insight. People with a disability learn so much throughout their lives; life lessons that able-bodied people rarely get to experience. Having a disability is definitely difficult, but it's also one of the richest classrooms a human can experience, too. While these learning experiences are more profound experienced directly, there are some special tokens of wisdom we can pass along. See the complete article for her insightful words of wisdom.7 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent
This Huffington Post article by Maria Lin, writer, journalist and parent of a child with special needs gives you insight into the challenges and blessings of being a parent of a child with a disability.8 Strategies for Engaging the Families of Young Children
February 11. 2020 Building Connections with Families: Three Strategies to Strengthen Relationships between Families, Teachers, and Childcare Programs
“To ensure the best outcomes for the young children you work with, it’s important to engage the real experts on each child: their families. When you make parents active partners in educational decision-making, strengthen their parenting confidence, and encourage their responsiveness to the child’s needs, the whole family will benefit.”
Imagine that each child in your class brings the five most important people in their lives with them into the classroom, each offering their own influence on the child’s day. The influence of all these people is real. They can impact children’s schedules, interactions, eating and sleeping patterns, and their ability to manage their emotions. One way we can manage this Invisible Crowd is by mindfully cultivating positive, welcoming relationships with families. Here are three ways.Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)
Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC)
The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. CADRE is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education to serve as the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education.
The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CECMHC) was funded as an Innovation and Improvement Project by the Office of Head Start in October 2008. The 3-year grant brings together a group of university researchers to develop strategies to help Head Start programs build a strong mental health foundation for their children, families and staff. The site houses resources for Head Start mental health consultants, staff, families, administrators and T&TA Providers.
Early Identification & Family Engagement
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Social-Emotional & Behavior
- Taking Care of Ourselves: Stress & Relaxation
Stress is natural and can be inevitable. But stress can take a toll on your health and effectiveness as an early childhood educator or parent. It impacts the quality of care that you can give. When you are too stressed it is difficult to offer the praise, nurturance, and structure your children need.
Dad’s Rock: Engagement Toolkit (PDF)
From Frank Porter Graham at the University of North Carolina the Connect Modules provide training on practices to solve dilemmas in early childhood settings with videos, activities and narratives to guide you through a process to learn about serving children with disabilities effectively. Modules include PowerPoints, videos, activities and reflective questions for use in providing in-service or pre-service training. Also available are online training modules. See the link below.
Children's Bureau: Learning & Coordination CenterDad’s Rock: Nurturing Family Engagement Video
The Dad’s Rock Engagement Toolkit provides many ways to use The Dad’s Rock video to promote discussion and reflection on father engagement. It includes practical tips for schools, for teachers, for community groups, for men, and for women to consider in adopting a more father-friendly approach and a Father Friendliness Agency Self-assessment.
Use the toolkit and share the film to spark conversations with potential partners in your community.
Children's Bureau: Learning & Coordination CenterDesigning Family-Friendly Consumer Education on Child Care
Dads Rock follows fathers on the journey to deepen their bonds with their children and the professionals working to improve father engagement. The research is clear that children do better when dads are involved, and yet all too often, agencies struggle to attract fathers to their services, and fathers face unconscious bias that keeps them at arms' length. Highlighting the work of the Children's Trust of Massachusetts Fatherhood Initiative, this film provides a fly-on-the-wall look at home visiting with dads, father support groups, and professional men's family service providers' groups to provide insights into working differently with dads and addressing existing biases.
Share the film and use the Engagement Toolkit to spark conversations with potential partners in your community.
ED.gov: Parent and Family Engagement
This new brief provides research-based information to support state and territory agency staff members as they design and implement family-friendly consumer education websites and other resources, such as QRIS programs. Consumer education efforts are undergoing revisions in response to provisions in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 20143 and CCDF regulations. The brief provides information that will allow state leaders to understand the general applicability of research findings while acknowledging that multiple approaches are needed to address families’ diverse needs.
Various ways are provided that will assist in building capacity for parents, families, and communities to fulfill the vision of the Secretary that every parent be a partner in learning and share in the responsibility of their child's education.
Engaging Families and Creating Trusting Partnerships to Improve Child and Family Outcomes
Edutopia is dedicated to transforming kindergarten through 12th-grade (K-12) education so all students can thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. We are focused on practices and programs that help students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, skills and beliefs to achieve their full potential.
Additional Resources from Edutopia
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
- The New PE: Special Report: Students Learn That Active Bodies Lead to Active Minds
As research linking physical fitness to academic success continues to emerge teachers are coming up with creative ways to keep kids active during teaching time, instead of relying on recess and those ever-dwindling PE hours. Teachers say they find that using movement in the classroom doesn't just get the jitters out, but actually makes for better learning as well, because engaging students' bodies in turn activates their minds.
- Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain
Incorporating exercise and movement throughout the school day makes students less fidgety and more focused on learning. Improving on-task behavior and reducing classroom management challenges are among the most obvious benefits of adding physical activities to your teaching toolkit. As research continues to explore how exercise facilitates the brain's readiness and ability to learn and retain information, we recommend several strategies to use with students and to boost teachers' body and brain health. The article includes the following resources:
- Brain Breaks
Physical activity ideas in the classroom from the Michigan Department of Education
- Just Breathe: When Teachers Practice Mindfulness
In this Edutopia blog by Elena Auguilar she introduces Meena Srinivasan's new book,Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom. She describes it as a resource that "speaks to a yearning I hear across our country: a desire to teach and work in a way that is anchored in joy, emerging from compassion, and that is more humane and slower than the way we work now." This easy-to-read book is a roadmap for this desire. She introduces a variety of mindfulness practices and then offers a wealth of resources for how to integrate these into our lives and classrooms.
- Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused Attention Practices
- Simple Music Integration for Primary Classrooms
The blog describes five easy ways for primary teachers to integrate music into their classrooms. Each activity is specifically designed for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities, and none require musical training or experience. So why use music in your primary classroom? Well-designed music activities can deepen and reinforce knowledge and skill development across a wide range of subjects. Music is engaging, fun, and can motivate even the most detached students.
- Empathy In the Classroom: Why Should I Care?
- The Long Game: 4 Essentials for a Successful Mindfulness Program
- Social Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach
Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.
- Empathy In the Classroom: Why Should I Care?
- The Long Game: 4 Essentials for a Successful Mindfulness Program
- Social Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach
Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.
- Resources on Mindfulness in Education
- Positive Strategies to Avoid Stress, Anxiety and Burnout
- 5 Simple Lessons for Social and Emotional Learning for Adults
- How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors and Relationships
Bring lessons from the movie "Inside Out" into your classroom
- Islands of Personality and Trains of Thought (Inside Out)
March - June 2017 Webinar Series
The ECTA Center is partnering with the DaSy Center, Ann and Rud Turnbull, and invited guests to facilitate an interactive 4-part web broadcast series aimed at supporting early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) systems leaders with building capacity in personnel and families to develop trusting partnerships. These partnerships in a child’s early years lay the foundation for achieving the long-term intended outcomes for children/students with developmental delays and disabilities articulated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ESQ Environmental Screening Questionnaire
Brookes PublishingExpect More Arizona
The environmental factors that shape a young child’s daily experience can have a profound influence on their development.
Now you can quickly gather vital information about the strengths and needs of a child’s home environment with the Environmental Screening Questionnaire (ESQ™), a brand-new FREE screening tool from the trusted child development experts behind ASQ®.
Simple to fill out and easy to score, the ESQ screener is designed to be completed in just 10 to 15 minutes by parents or caregivers of children ages birth through age 6.
This well-balanced environmental portrait will help you:
- Highlight family strengths and protective factors
- Identify risk factors that might affect a family’s ability to support healthy child development
- Quickly determine appropriate resources and referrals for every family
- Efficiently monitor outcomes for children and families
Used in conjunction with ASQ®-3 and ASQ®:SE-2, the free ESQ screener will allow you to build the most complete picture possible of potential influences on a child’s development, and help ensure that the services you provide are targeted where families need them most.
Expect More ArizonaFamily Engagement and Cultural Perspectives: Applying Strengths-Based Attitudes (PDF)
is a public-private partnership dedicated to making education the top priority in the state of Arizona. Expect more Arizona unites individuals and organizations that believe expectations must be much higher and sharing our commitment in making Arizona's commitment, birth through career, the best in the nation. The path to higher expectations and educational excellence requires great teachers, motivated students, engaged parents, committed leaders and supportive communities – all working together to increase student academic achievement and ultimately their readiness to succeed in college and career.
This publication from the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement explore how understanding the cultural perspectives of families can positively impact relationship-building and family engagement efforts. The publication includes a set of reflective questions that help you to examine your perspective on a topic and a family’s perspective.
Family Engagement Core Competencies
National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) | 2022Family Engagement Tool Kit
The purpose of the Family Engagement Core Competencies is to create a nationally agreed-upon and unifying set of professional competencies for family-facing professionals to practice family engagement in education across the developmental spectrum, particularly one that is grounded in an equity and social justice orientation.
Quality Counts CaliforniaFive Ways Father’s Support Their Child’s Learning Every Day (Downloadable Poster)
The Family Engagement Toolkit modules and resources are available in English and Spanish. Click on the “Family Engagement Toolkit” button below to:
- Learn about the toolkit’s five learning modules
- Find resources to extend your learning
- Learn how to access the toolkit through the Workforce Registry and California Early Childhood Online (CECO)
- Learn how to earn professional development clock hours
Head Start ECLKC | June 2020Share this simple handout with families. It highlights how fathers support children’s learning in ways that apply to all children, including those with disabilities.From Principles to Practice: Building a Culture of Family Engagement (PDF)
As part of stakeholder discussions sparked by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment in 2015, local advocates developed a shared definition for family engagement as well as five guiding principles. These principles build upon the work of national advocates and stress the need to embed practices across the systems and settings that serve families with young children.
Global Family Research Project
Head Start ECLKC: Family Engagement
The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.
The Global Family Research Project is an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that supports all families and communities in helping children find success in and out of school. We create a worldwide exchange of ideas to further the understanding and implementation of anywhere, anytime learning for all.
Since 1983, our team has provided leadership to promote strategies that build pathways for children’s whole development across all learning environments.
- Family Engagement Playbook Dec 2019
Over the years, our organization has cataloged research-based strategies for working with and building strong connections with families. This new Family Engagement Playbook takes that work to the next level. The Playbook is a collection of evidence-based approaches that individuals, groups, and organizations can easily integrate into existing professional learning opportunities to cultivate meaningful and co-created family engagement. The approaches have the potential to change mindsets, build trusting relationships, and transform organizational practices.
- Fostering a Love of Literacy Through Libraries, Schools and Families
- Seven Research- Based Ways That Families Promote Early Literacy (Infographic)
Positive early-literacy experiences with family members--whether at home, in early-childhood programs, schools, or libraries--set children on a trajectory to become confident readers by the time they reach third grade, which is an important milestone on the pathway toward high school graduation. The brief includes examples of programs that raise awareness about early literacy and a tool that those serving young children can use to reflect on their work with families.
Head Start ECLKC: Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness (Training Series)
Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) Family Engagement is a collaborative and strengths-based process through which early childhood professionals, families, and children build positive and goal-oriented relationships. It is a shared responsibility of families and staff at all levels that requires mutual respect for the roles and strengths each has to offer. Family engagement focuses on culturally and linguistically responsive relationship-building with key family members in a child’s life. The Office of Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework is a guide to learning how family engagement promotes positive, enduring change for children, families, and communities.
Head Start: Birth to Five Father Engagement Guide
Enhance your knowledge around family homelessness and the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act's definition of "homeless" as it refers to children and youth. Review other relevant federal regulations for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)-subsidized programs.
This interactive learning series is intended for professionals in Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care, including early childhood and school-age child care providers, CCDF Lead Agency or designated entity staff, and other key stakeholders. Learn how to identify families experiencing homelessness, conduct community outreach, and much more.
Head Start ECLKCExplore this practical guide to learn how program staff build strong, meaningful, and authentic relationships with fathers in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These relationships are the foundation of family partnerships that influence outcomes for children, families, and fathers. Find strategies early childhood leaders can apply right away. Review ideas for practice and reflection.Head Start: Strengthening Partnerships to Support Babies with Special Needs
View this short animated video to find out about a family’s experience when they learn that their child has a special need. Explore how staff can support and partner with families through this experience. Use this training tool to enable staff sensitivity around this topic.
Home visiting and early childhood education can benefit families by broadening their strategies for family engagement
Both fields are beginning to recognize that family engagement occurs along a continuum, which distinguishes between more and less meaningful ways to engage families. Extending this continuum can allow HV and ECE providers to engage families more authentically in services.How Parents Widen or Shrink Academic Gaps
This article takes a look how those differences in parent involvement can create hidden disparities that are easy for schools to overlook but hard for poor families to overcome. If you are interested in engaging each and every family member to support their child/ren’s full participation, this article will provide some compelling evidence.
Identifying Students Experiencing Homelessness During School Building Closures
School House Connection | July 2020Involving Families in Intervention and Assessment (PDF)
With many school buildings completely or largely closed this fall, identifying students experiencing homelessness will require revisions to typical techniques. The anticipated increase in homelessness due to increased unemployment, family stress, and other factors also will complicate identification efforts. This checklist offers some strategies to promote robust identification of students experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. The article include guidance for training liaisons and a checklist for removing barriers to online enrollment.
For more in-depth information and training on homelessness see the August 2020 edition of the MAP Newsletter.
Brookes Publishing | 2023La Sopa de la Abuela: Special Education Telenovela
A young child’s healthy development depends on many factors, including early assessment and intervention for children who have delays or disabilities. When parents and other caregivers are involved as active partners, everyone benefits: families, programs, and children!
In this free downloadable toolkit, you’ll get strategies, tip sheets, and other tools for keeping families involved and engaged throughout the whole process of assessment and intervention. Discover the why and the how of family participation, get guidance on overcoming challenges, and find links to more helpful resources.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Series of Family Engagement Videos in Spanish!
This series was designed to support the engagement of families in the special education process, share information, encourage advocacy skills, and foster collaborative home-school partnerships which positively impact student success. Created by a design team that included family and staff members, we hope you’ll join us for the journey of one family as they navigate their emotions, learn about special education, and make decisions.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals and others dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education programs for children birth through age eight. NAEYC’s primary goals are to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education and to build public understanding and support for high-quality early childhood programs.
Additional NAEYC Resources
Cultural Competency & Family Engagement
Healthy Mind, Health Body
Social-Emotional & Behavior
- Public Policy Overview
NAEYC promotes national, state and local public policies that support a system of well-financed, high quality early childhood education programs in a range of settings, including child care centers, family child care homes, and schools.
- Promoting Social–Emotional Development: Helping Infants Learn About Feelings (PDF)
Starting from birth, infants begin learning how to make sense of their world through interactions with caregivers. Responsive caregiving-which involves caregiver reflecting and validating a child’s feelings and behaviors-help very young children makes sense of their world. Over time, children who have this type of nurturing, reflective care better regulates their emotions.
- 10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Toddler
Recent research shows that infants and toddlers are far more empathetic than we once thought. While they have short fuses, and don’t cope well with sharing, they are capable of being compassionate. With this in mind, here are ten tips I use in the classroom to help infants and toddlers become pro-social that families can also try at home.
- NAEYC Radio
NAEYC and BAM Radio Network partnered to bring NAEYC Radio. The program was developed to bring the best and latest insights on early childhood education directly to parents and educators.
- 10 tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant Toddler
- Helping Infants Learn About Feelings (PDF)
- Standing Together Against Suspension and Expulsion Joint Policy Statement (PDF)
A group of more than 30 national organizations recently published a joint statement, Standing Together Against Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood: A Joint Statement (April 2016), which supports the recommendations from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human services in their December 2014 Joint Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension. The organizations have also compiled a number of related resources to help states, districts, communities, and classrooms prevent, limit, and ultimately eliminate suspension and expulsion in early childhood education.
- Caring Relationships: The Heart of Early Brain Development By Ron Lally and Peter Mangione
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
PTA's mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.
Reinforcing the critical role fathers play in the lives of their children is the focus of a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) released today by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families. The campaign, funded by the federal government and distributed through the Ad Council, coincides with national Tell a Joke Day on August 16. The PSAs utilize the theme of sharing “dad jokes” as a means for fathers and their children to share intimate and meaningful time together thereby strengthening the bonds between them and creating consequential memories for a lifetime. The ads also direct fathers to fatherhood.gov where they will find helpful tips, tools, information and jokes to help them get more involved with and connected to their kids.
Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFC)
Pandemic Parents Are More Engaged. How Can Schools Keep It Going?
The Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFC)
released the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework in September of 2011. The framework, downloadable and available in both English and Spanish, is a "road map" to family and community engagement across systems and service areas. Along with the framework are a variety of short videos (links) discussing this framework and family engagement through the eyes of the national director of Head Start, teachers, and parents. The framework and short videos focus on the development of family engagement partnerships and is a comprehensive guide into incorporating research-based methods in developing relationships among families, communities, and providers which will aid in the development of a healthy and balanced child who is ready for school success.
To further promote the use of the framework, in January of 2012 the NCPFC introduced a guide for use of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework, specifically focused on helping programs to identify "markers of progress," and using the recently developed "self assessment tool".
Education Week | September 14, 2021Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources (PDF)
In many places, communication between schools and parents is turning out to be one of the bright spots in an otherwise chaotic and uncertain era of education. And, it is a golden opportunity for schools to push parent engagement to a higher level this year and beyond.
Family engagement had to move to the top of the priority list now because no learning, no teaching, no education is happening without communication with families,” said Karen Mapp, a senior lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, who has studied the interactions between parents and schools for years. “So now you’ve gone from something that was low priority to something that is probably right at the top.”
During the pandemic, the content of the communication changed, Mapp said, with a greater focus on children’s individual learning needs, since parents were a huge part of supporting classroom instruction.
The conversations switched away from discipline and ‘this is what your child isn’t doing’ to ‘here’s what we can do together to make sure that your child continues to learn and grow,’” Mapp said. “Families have responded quite positively to that change.
Tragic events in recent years underscore the need for school to be a safe and positive learning environment for every student. In the absence of a safe and positive learning environment, a student may feel disconnected, disregard consequences, and engage in bullying or other destructive behaviors. These conditions can foreshadow acts of violence or criminality. However, through dedicated attention and strategic effort, school can remain a positive, supportive place in which every student feels safe, welcome, and connected. In order to help those closest to students—parents, classroom teachers, school leaders, and others—to create and maintain a safe and positive learning environment for all, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) offers the attached Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources (Guide). The purpose of the Guide is to provide general information about the concept of school climate improvement, suggestions for leading an effective school climate improvement effort, and additional resources for those interested in more information. In addition to distributing this Guide, the Department supports two technical assistance centers that offer free assistance on improving school climate: (1) the National Center of Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (www.safesupportivelearning.ed.gov), and (2) the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (www.pbis.org). Enclosed with this document is an appendix that lists additional resources.
Parent Child Social Games (PDF)
ECTAParent Engagement Module Series
When infants begin showing interest in their parents and other adults, the time is right to play social games. Social games are back-and-forth, your-turn-my-turn infant-adult play accompanied by short rhymes or songs that engage infants in playful interactions. Some of the results of playing social games with your child are active child participation, lots of playful bouts of back-and-forth communication, and bunches of smiles and laugher.
Download a Spanish Version (PDF)
California Department of Education Migrant Education Office and WestEdPartnering with Families of Children with Disabilities (PDF)
A primary factor in student achievement and overall well-being, parents (or guardians) play an integral part in their children’s lives. For this reason, the California Department of Education’s Migrant Education Office (MEO), in collaboration with WestEd, created the Parent Engagement Module Series for parents to develop their capacity to support their children at school and at home. The MEO’s State Service Delivery Plan, a framework for migrant education service delivery, identifies the need to support and increase parent and family engagement. These seven parent modules were developed to provide parents and family with information and strategies to address important topics such as the use of positive discipline to support child development, ways to raise self-confident children, bullying at school, and more. All of the modules are intended to be presented by a facilitator but can also be viewed independently by parents.
Available in English and Spanish.
Intended for educators, this article provides readers with an understanding of the experience and processes that families go through upon learning their child has a disability, as well basic information about IFSP and IEP services. It also explains several strategies for working with families with children with disabilities.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Self Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving the Homeless (PDF)
The TA Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.
This TA Center provides guidance and tools in developing positive relationships with families of school age children. Below is the link to the area on the website that provides rationale for parent involvement, research, best practices and tips for teachers (School, Family and Community Partnerships) and a link to another area of the site that includes a list of parent training resources and specifically a "Family Engagement Checklist."
This Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness has been specifically designed for child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and public pre-k programs as a guide for welcoming and supporting families and children experiencing homelessness into these programs. We know that ending family homelessness will require us to implement whole-of-community strategies to ensure that every member of each family experiencing homelessness is offered the services and the supports they need to thrive. Early care and education providers play a critical role in identifying and supporting families with young children who are experiencing homelessness and connecting those families to other resources within their community.
Sharing Our Journey, UC Davis MIND Institute (Videos)
This set of 11 videos, produced by the UC Davis Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and funded by the Department of Developmental Services Disparity Funds Program, is aimed toward increasing equity and access to services for all families of children with developmental disabilities. Videos are available in English and Spanish.State Approaches to Family Engagement in Pre-K Programs (PDF)
This policy brief from CEELO (Center on Early Learning Outcomes) defines effective family engagement, identifies types of programs with family engagement requirements and frameworks and includes alignment considerations.Supporting Fathers of Children with Special Needs (Brief)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse | 2018The Power of Fathers: A Concept Paper on Fatherhood, Family Engagement and Early Childhood (PDF)
“The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) has developed this research brief to help fatherhood practitioners increase their awareness and understanding of the experiences of fathers of children with special needs. The brief explains several of the more common special needs, describes challenges that fathers of children with special needs may face, and provides tips to help fatherhood programs better support these fathers. Because most research on the experience of parents of children with special needs has focused on mothers, we draw from both published research and interviews with program staff who have experience in serving fathers with children with special needs.”
A PDF of this brief is available (PDF).
Irving Harris Foundation | 2021“This paper is designed to provide a brief overview of the research supporting fathers’ wide-ranging contributions to healthy child development. It also shines a spotlight on innovative father engagement programs that address systemic and personal barriers. Finally, the paper closes with program, policy, and research recommendations to advance fathers as key stakeholders in family strengthening programming and to support the full participation of fathers in their families and communities.”
US Deparment of Education (USDE): Family Engagement Policy
When families and the institutions where children learn partner in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success. To further this position, the Departments released a policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices in early childhood and learning programs.Using Your Story to Teach Toolkit (PDF)
Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPTA)Zero to Three
The purpose of this guide from the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPTA) is to provide a roadmap for crafting a family story that will teach pre-service and in-service personnel in early childhood intervention what family centered, culturally responsive practices should look like. This guide can be used by family leaders to prepare families as trainers in state personnel development efforts. Using family stories to teach can be a powerful tool to prepare pre-service and in-service providers for successful partnerships with families that will improve child outcomes. Family stories can help providers understand how to partner with families in building capacity that will support child development and lifelong learning.
Zero to Three is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to advancing the healthy development of babies and young children. Zero to Three disseminates key developmental information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and standards of practice, and works to increase public awareness about the significance of the first three years of life.
Select link for more information on ZERO TO THREE