Looking for ways to strengthen your parent, family, and community engagement? We have designed this guide for staff and managers from Head Start, Early Head Start, and early child care programs. Explore the different content areas to find professional development resources and learning opportunities. Get started by selecting the tabs below.

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Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is a powerful process used by individuals and groups to examine and enhance practice. Use this process to acknowledge you and your group's experiences, expertise, desires, and discoveries. Benefits of ongoing reflective practice include: Improved skills in engaging families and community; Strengthened relationships with others; Greater awareness and understanding of how your experiences influence your work. To get started, follow the three steps below. Be sure to return to these steps, and add reflections over time.

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You will need: Reflective Practice Tool.

Before you begin:
Print a copy of the Reflective Practice Tool for each member of your group.

Step 1

Consider what you want to reflect about.

a. Reflect on your and your group's needs. Use your reflections to help decide which content areas and learning extensions to use.

b. After you choose a content area, review what the guide covers. (This is summarized on the first page of each guide.) Conduct a short discussion with your group about what you want to explore.

Step 2

Write responses to questions 1 and 2 on the reflective practice tool.

Download Reflective Practice Tool

Step 3

As you complete the content area learning extensions, return to the reflective practice tool and add reflections by responding to questions 3, 4, and 5.

Download Reflective Practice Tool

Getting Started

Incorporating these guides into your professional development plans will increase your potential for being successful in engaging parents, families, and the community. As you get started, use your responses to the questions below to help you determine which content areas and learning extensions to use.

  • Are you responding to a specific need?
  • Are you creating a professional development plan for PFCE?
  • What methods and media best meet your group's needs?

We recommend starting with Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Approach. This content area offers an orientation to the Office of Head Start (OHS) PFCE Framework, which will introduce you to the systems and services your program will need to implement effective parent, family, and community engagement.

Download these resources

Get started by downloading and reviewing the following resources:

Guiding Questions

  • Parent, Family and Community Engagement Approach

    How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?

    How can I help make PFCE a part of all staff members' roles in my program?

  • Family Engagement and School Readiness

    What is the role of family and community engagement in fostering healthy child development and school readiness?

    What strategies (including transition strategies and goal setting) can I use to understand each family's view of their role in their child's learning? What strategies can I use to partner with families to support their child's school readiness?

    How can I integrate PFCE and school readiness strategies throughout my program's systems and services?

  • Positive Goal Oriented Relationships

    What are Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships?

    How can I build Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships with Families?

    How can I build Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships with staff and community partners?

  • Leadership and Program Practices

    What is the role of program foundations in PFCE?

    How can staff and leaders nurture Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships through the Program Foundation?

    How can staff and leaders identify strengths, opportunities, and strategies to improve their program?