Head Start has a strong history of prioritizing the engagement of fathers and male family members. Programs, children, and families benefit when fathers are considered partners in their child’s learning and development. Research shows that fathers tend to have a strong motivation to participate fully in their children’s lives.
Fathers who are deeply involved in their children’s lives:
- Are competent caregivers of infants
- Interact differently with their children than mothers do
- Contribute to their child’s development, including school readiness
- Support the positive parenting of mothers
- Contribute to the well-being of the family
- Show positive gains in their own development and life decisions
Honor and acknowledge the important things that fathers have to offer. It's an important part of building positive relationships with them. Staff can demonstrate genuine curiosity and respect for the unique strengths, talents, cultures, goals, and circumstances of fathers.
The Father Engagement Strategies will help program staff think about how to ensure fathers feel respected as equal contributors in child-rearing and in early childhood programs. It provides information that can be applied quickly to enhance father engagement.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Last Updated: June 21, 2023