Empowering parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher is an essential component of quality early learning and care.
A recent piece in “Early Learning Nation” looks at the benefits of intensive family engagement, a key component of the Educare model featured in a new documentary, “Tomorrow’s Hope.” One of the educators featured in the film is Brenda Eiland-Williford, director of early childhood quality and impact at Start Early. She shares how partnering with parents — building a foundation of support, bonding and relationships — can help communities undergoing transitions and give children and families “the problem-solving, conflict-management and self-regulation skills to thrive.”
Family engagement will also be critical to the success of cities, states and communities as they reckon with how to rebuild early childhood systems back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents and caregivers have the clearest perspective of what their family needs, and family voices — like those featured in “Tomorrow’s Hope” — must be included in the planning, implementation, oversight and evaluation of all programs serving children from birth to age 5 and their families.
Rebecca Berlin, chief learning officer at Start Early and principal investigator of the National Center for Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) why lifting up family voices is so important in another “Early Learning Nation” piece: “We know this will lead to early learning programs that truly support family well-being, effective family and community engagement and children’s school readiness so that every child has the opportunity to thrive.”