Your work to engage parents and families in their children’s development and learning matters. Research tells us that:
So what you are doing today has a lasting impact on children’s growth and well-being and on the well-being of their families too. When you work hand-in-hand with families to build trusting relationships, you help families support their children to reach their fullest potential.
As a field, we are increasingly learning that it is not just the single act of a parent-teacher conference, or inviting families into a program to observe, or hosting a parenting workshop that results in better outcomes for children and families. Instead, for Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) programs to fully support the growth, development and well-being of children and their families, PFCE practices need to be incorporated into everything that your program is and does.
The PFCE Framework [PDF, 1.06MB] will help you understand why this matters. It encourages programs to embed PFCE practices within the foundations of the program (program leadership, continuous program improvement, professional development) as well as the program impact areas (program environment, family partnerships, teaching and learning, and community partnerships).
Equally important is the depth of your PFCE practices. You may choose to begin exploring your PFCE practices by thinking about the questions in Bringing the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework to Your Program: Beginning a Self-Assessment [PDF, 8.82MB].
Or you may turn directly to this guide. It will help you assess, plan, and take steps to move your program’s parent, family, and community engagement efforts forward along a three-tiered continuum of effective PFCE practices.
This guide begins with a basic review of the PFCE Framework and PFCE key terms and principles. It then describes the steps to assess your program’s current PFCE practices along three tiers of markers that start with practices related to the Head Start Performance Standards (HSPS) and move ahead two steps to implementing innovative PFCE practices. Finally it will show you how to use your findings to celebrate successes, plan opportunities, and implement new practices for PFCE growth and innovation.
Fantuzzo, J., McWayne, C., & Perry, M. ( 2004). Multiple dimensions of family involvement and their relations to behavioral and learning competencies for urban, low-income children. The School Psychology Review, 33(4), 467–480. Weiss, H., Caspe, & M., Lopez, M. E. (2006). Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education. Family Involvement Makes a Difference. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project. ↩
H. A., Pan, B. A., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., et al. (2006). Mother–child bookreading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life. Child Development 77(4), 924–953. ↩
Dearing, E., Kreider, H., Simpkins, S., & Weiss, H. B. (2006). Family involvement in school and low-income children’s literacy performance: Longitudinal associations between and within families. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 653–664. Barnard, W. M. (2004). Parent involvement in elementary school and educational attainment. Children & Youth Services Review, 26(1), 39-62. ↩