Family Involvement in Early Education and Child Care: Volume 20

Cover of Family Involvement in Early Education and Child Care
Subject:

Table of contents

(10 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

This study examines the effect of preservice teachers’ (PSTs) immersive learning experience in working with families. A total of 48 undergraduate university students participated in a traditional or immersive class. The Peabody Family Involvement Initiative Survey (PFIIS) was selected to assess students’ self-efficacy in working with families. The students completed the same assignments as those in the traditional course and additionally were involved in planning two family events, and creating a family space on site to meet real goals. The results indicate that among level of importance, level of feasibility, and perceptions of preparation, the immersive class students showed some significant differences. Although the students’ motivation and excitement initially was low, as time progressed these gradually increased. The PSTs gained much more ownership over their experiences and changed their perspectives of working with families as well as increased confidence in this area. This study suggests that it is beneficial for PSTs to have immersive experience with actual parents while gaining immediate, real feedback about effective strategies.

Abstract

This chapter describes the Bornlearning ® Academy (BLA), a school-based family engagement program predicated on the notion that families come to the table with knowledge and skills and can support children’s learning by building on what they are already doing. It takes place in a school building within the families’ school district, and it is a six-workshop series that utilizes materials available for free at bornlearning.org, a United Way Worldwide public engagement campaign. The goal of the BLA is to increase parents’/caregivers’ understanding of their role in the education process of their children and to facilitate familiarization and establishment of positive experiences with the school personnel and the school district for the children and their families. Survey data demonstrated that parents/caregivers from a range of backgrounds enjoyed and learned from various BLA workshops. Gains on content questions indicated the BLA attendees learned, and responses indicated that attendees both intended to use what they learned at the workshops in their own interactions with their children and actually followed through on those intentions.

Abstract

Family engagement is a central tenet of high-quality early education practice. However, the ways in which programs interact with families have varied significantly over time and in relationship to program type. This chapter extends traditional notions of family involvement by emphasizing the potential of early care and education programs to effectively support parents and other primary caregivers in enhancing daily interactions with their children. Specifically, home visits are described as an important mechanism to influence parent-child interaction particularly when intentional, evidence-based curricula are employed. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on developing and implementing such home visiting models. In this chapter, we describe a specific example of the integration of the Promoting First Relationships (PFR) parent-child interaction curriculum (Kelly, Zuckerman, Sandoval, & Buehlman, 2008) into home visits in both home and center-based Early Head Start practice. Implementation aspects for enhancing existing family engagement strategies with an intentional home visiting curriculum are discussed with recommendations for future programming and research.

Abstract

Family involvement is traditionally conceptualized as the role parents assume in formal early childhood education (ECE) settings, such as preschool. However, family involvement in early learning is not limited to formal, school-like experiences. For many children, much of their early learning occurs with parents, family members, and other informal caregivers within the home and during outings into their local communities. Therefore, finding innovative ways for communities to engage families in their young children’s early learning process is very important. Public libraries are well-established community resources that are recognized by families as reliable institutions with trustworthy information. This chapter suggests that public libraries hold great potential to provide early education experiences that naturally encourage family involvement in early learning. First, we review how public libraries are well positioned to support family involvement in children’s early learning. We also highlight recent library-based efforts to reach families with research-informed learning experiences that support children’s school readiness. A case study of one public library’s partnership with university researchers to deliver library-based interactive parent-child programming is presented. Finally, we address national efforts to include public libraries within statewide early childhood comprehensive systems and important considerations for building upon the potential of public libraries to support families with young children.

Abstract

This chapter reviews conceptualizations of parent involvement and family engagement as they aim to support children’s learning and development and introduces the reader to relational family engagement, a new approach to engaging families in their children’s early learning. Relational family engagement is discussed as central to effectively engaging culturally and linguistically diverse families as active contributors to their children’s lifelong success as learners. The authors delineate three principles fundamental to relational family engagement, supported by an interdisciplinary review of research. Reflective practice is explored as a pathway to relational family engagement. The authors assert that the integration of reflective practice holds promise as a way to facilitate and deepen relationships among staff in early childhood programs, between the early childhood education program staff and families, and between families and children, such that children’s early learning experiences are enhanced across both home and preschool contexts while drawing upon their families’ cultural and linguistic assets.

Abstract

Nowadays children from immigrant families are the fastest growing group of youth in the United States. Despite the fact that emerging research has highlighted the significance of strong partnerships between families and high-quality early childcare/education programs, many immigrant families face numerous barriers in accessing high-quality childcare/early education as well as establishing strong partnerships with centers. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the emerging challenges that immigrant families face in navigating the U.S. early childhood education system. This chapter first briefly reviews the literature on the role of family involvement in early childhood education within the general U.S. population. This is followed by a review of the unique funds of knowledge that immigrant parents engage in while interacting with their children at home. Then this chapter explores the barriers of immigrant families in developing strong partnerships with early childcare/education programs such as, communication, limited parental English proficiency, lack of public funding, acculturation, education, and cultural perceptions of involvement. Furthermore, this is followed by a focus on two distinct rising immigrant populations within the United States, Hispanic (specifically non-refugee) and refugee populations, and their unique sets of obstacles. Lastly, recommendations are provided for future practitioners and policymakers to support the establishment of stronger immigrant family and professional partnerships within early education and childcare settings.

Abstract

This chapter explores the unique issues related to assessing and instructing linguistically diverse children from birth to five years old in early education settings. This chapter provides a literature review of how family involvement aids in accurate assessment of DLLs language development. First, the chapter provides a summary of the importance of assessing DLLs and the related gaps in the literature. Next, there is a discussion of family involvement in the assessment process, specifically the importance of parent involvement, potential barriers, and the educational placement of DLLs. Then a section about bilingual language acquisition is presented to explain how DLLs acquire English. Drawing on the above literature, the authors advocate for a multifaceted approach in which assessments are conducted in multiple contexts and data are gathered from multiple sources, particularly from parents who are extremely knowledgeable of their children’s abilities and language experiences. Finally, the chapter concludes with a review of current best practices to involve DLL families in assessment and directions for further research.

Abstract

A pressing educational concern is how to provide effective education for the growing population of dual language learners (DLL) in early childhood settings. Given the robust findings that family involvement promotes children’s academic success as well as recognition of parents’ “funds of knowledge,” one pathway to provide a culturally and linguistically responsive classroom environment for DLLs is to form collaborative relationships between parents and teachers of DLLs. The purpose of this chapter is to describe Project TAPP (Teachers and Parents as Partners), a community of practice (CoP) composed of parents and teachers of preschool dual language learners. The chapter describes the framework of Project TAPP, findings related to participation, and lessons learned.

About the Authors

Pages 187-191
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Cover of Family Involvement in Early Education and Child Care
DOI
10.1108/S0270-4021201720
Publication date
2016-11-11
Book series
Advances in Early Education and Day Care
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78635-408-2
eISBN
978-1-78635-407-5
Book series ISSN
0270-4021