Information for Educators on Connecting with Families
The research is clear – family involvement matters! The link between family involvement and how well children do socially and cognitively is well established.* Educators and families have the same goal for the child – success and kindergarten readiness. Creating a partnership with your families will only strengthen your learning environment and community.
How do you strengthen and build this partnership? Below are just a few examples.
- Families bring a wealth of strengths, knowledge, and values to your early learning program. When you strive to understand, respect, and value different cultures and languages, children are more likely to understand and welcome differences among all people.
- Take the time to explain what topic is being explored in your classroom and the benefits of certain experiences. For example, a parent may not be aware that using playdough or clay strengthens the hands, fingers, and fine motor skills that will eventually enable children to be able to write.
- Encourage families to extend the learning at home. If you are currently exploring things with wings, families can look for airplanes, birds, butterflies, etc., in their neighborhood. These simple ideas help families stretch their child's interest. Families will welcome the creative advice as well.
- Welcome families into the classroom to share their knowledge and expertise to enhance and extend learning.
- Communicating with families on a daily basis is key to building a meaningful and lasting partnership. Take time everyday to talk with your families.
*Harvard Family Reseach Project, 2006; Brooks-Gunn & Markman, 2005; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2006.