Family engagement matters – and it can pay off for young learners and early childhood programs!
Hoosier early childhood programs have a new opportunity to both enrich and expand their efforts to support family engagement. Partnerships for Early Learners is thrilled to announce our Family Engagement Prize Competition. Through this opportunity, child care providers can win up to $25,000 and highlight how they support families as children’s first teachers.
Why are we investing in family engagement?
Family engagement matters. When families partner with their children’s schools, children win. The Harvard Family Research Project found that, when relationships between a child’s family and the child’s early learning provider were strengthened, families increased quality interactions. Those interactions include every day brain-boosting activities such as reading aloud and talking with their children during diapering and other routines. At Partnerships for Early Learners, we know that families are children’s first and lasting teachers. When we strengthen families, children achieve greater levels of success.
Knowing that, we want to acknowledge your efforts, vision, and accomplishments with family engagement. This award competition allows providers to showcase how they improve outcomes for children by partnering with families. Furthermore, this effort builds on the framework created by the Early Learning Advisory Committee’s family engagement work group and focuses on the value of communicating with and providing needed support to families.
How can you apply for the prize?
Through a self-assessment process, interested programs can collect evidence of their programs efforts. Additionally, this process includes creating a portfolio of family engagement services. Essentially, this applications gives you the chance to document and mark progress in several family engagement practices, including:
- Teachers taking time to place a welcome call to a new family
- Maintaining an open-door policy
- Inviting families to give opinions on policies
- Activating families’ strengths within programs
Who can apply for the prize?
From March 15 through April 30, early childhood programs can apply. Eligible programs include licensed family child care homes, licensed centers, registered ministries, and public preschools participating in Paths to QUALITY.
Are you ready to apply but still have questions? Email me, Lenore Friedly, at Partnerships for Early Learners for help.
About the author: Lenore Friedly designs and implements projects that support families and early childhood professionals with the goal of creating strong, collaborative relationships that support all young children. Developing avenues for authentic partnerships between families and providers is her professional passion. Her current projects include the Bloom Bright texting service and amplifying Indiana’s Family Engagement Toolkit. Prior to joining this team, she taught at a co-operative preschool, supported parenting teens and worked with Early Head Start families. In those roles, she continuously sought to uplift the role of parents.