Family members are a child's first and most important teachers. A new report from Pre-K Now identifies policies that can enhance family engagement in state pre-kindergarten and highlights examples from states that are leading the way.
As policy makers across the country seek cost-effective strategies to improve pre-k quality and close achievement gaps, they should look to family engagement as a core component of those efforts. By involving parents, grandparents and other caregivers, pre-k programs can build essential relationships that enhance children's learning at home and at school, promote supportive, effective parenting and build a lifelong partnership between families and the education system.
Meaningful family engagement that maximizes these effects is a vital element of the quality of any pre-k program. Key strategies include:
The report, written by Deborah Roderick Stark, also addresses how family engagement programs must ensure efforts to respect the linguistic and cultural diversity of the populations they serve.