The Best Resources On Pre-School Parent Engagement

I have many “Best” lists on multiple aspects of parent engagement, but thought with all the recent talk about expanding early education, a list on pre-school parent engagement would be useful.

You can see all my parent engagement “Best” lists here.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Pre-School Parent Engagement:

Preschools Aim to Better Equip Low-Income Parents is a brand new article at Education Week.

Head Start has a series of downloadable flyers in their Importance of Home Language Series that are in English and Spanish. They’re useful for educators and for parents.

Here’s an article about Head Start’s home visiting program, Head Start casts parents in educator’s role, and it’s worth a read….

Two new studies were just released examining Head Start. They were mixed in some areas, but positive about its effect on parent engagement.

Here’s an excerpt from a summary:

One of the studies, by the nonprofit Mathematica Policy Research, found that parents of children enrolled in Head Start became more engaged in teaching their children at home: They increased (slightly) the frequency that they told their children stories, played games, did arts and crafts and went to the library. The report also found that children in Head Start made significant academic progress during the year on skills like identifying numbers and shapes.

The second of the studies, known as the Head Start Impact Study, is the latest in a series of reports that has looked at the academic, social-emotional and health outcomes for Head Start students over time. Previously, the study had found that gains made in preschool for children enrolled in Head Start tapered off in first grade. The latest report shows that nearly all the health benefits and academic and social emotional gains were gone by third grade. There were also some negative outcomes, including a greater likelihood of being held back.

But parenting skills continued to be better for Head Start families, and in some cases social skills and reading ability were somewhat higher for Head Start children in third grade.

“One of the strengths of the Head Start program is the parent involvement and parent engagement,” said Linda Smith, ACF deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development, in a phone interview. “And it is borne out in the study.”

The practice of early childhood home visits by non-school staff seems to be growing. Education Week posted a useful article on the practice, Home Visits Help New Families; Support School Readiness.

Here’s how it begins:

Kindergartners across the country are kicking off their official schooling careers over the next several weeks (some are already underway), but up to 45 percent of them won’t be “ready to learn,” under a definition that includes certain cognitive skills, but also physical and mental health, emotional well-being, and the ability to relate to others.

Most of the children who fall short of that definition of school readiness come from low-income communities in households often headed by a single mother.

That sobering reminder about the gaps that exist even as children are just embarking on their schooling comes from the Pew Center on the States and its campaign for state governments to invest more resources into voluntary home visiting programs for expectant and new families. There are scores of home visiting programs designed to address a slew of health, social, and educational challenges that manifest in the earliest stages of a child’s life (even in utero). These programs pair professionals such as nurses or social workers with parents who volunteer to receive support and information about good parenting that can start as early as pregnancy and reach into a child’s fifth year of life.

Parent Involvement One of the Most Enduring Benefits of the Head Start Program is the headline of a post that begins:

Recent research released by Alexander Gelber and Adam Isen at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania suggests that increased parent involvement in a child’s life is one of the most enduring benefits of the Head Start Program.

The article also contains a link to what seems to be a relatively useful guide for parent involvement in Head Start programs.

Study: Head Start Programs May Increase Parents’ Involvement is a short blog post at Education Week about a recent….study.

Parents, teachers tout classroom councils to boost engagement is an article about how a Chicago Head Start center is engaging parents. The exact model is probably not practical in many or most classrooms, but it’s just another way of looking at parents as “co-educators.”

The National Center On Parent, Family and Community Engagement is connected to Head Start. Here is how the website describes its purpose:

The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement will identify, develop and disseminate evidence-based best practices associated with the development of young children and the strengthening of families and communities. The Center will create culturally and linguistically relevant training and tools for implementing comprehensive, systemic, and integrated approaches to parent, family and community engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start.

It’s filled with useful resources, including multimedia.

New study shows parent involvement leads to better classroom attention is the title of an MSNBC article about research on pre-schoolers and their families.

Here’s an excerpt:

A new study by cognitive neuroscientist Helen Neville from the University of Oregon, Eugene indicates that parental involvement may be a large factor in preschoolers ability to retain attention in the classroom. The study also showed that a brief training program on attention aimed at 3- to 5-year-olds and their families could help boost brain activity and narrow the academic achievement gap between low- and high-income students.

HIPPY stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, and you can read more about its home visiting program here.

Head Start recently published quite a compilation of recent research related to parent involvement and pre-school youth.

is from The Cultural Orientation Resource Center:

The HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Head Start (OHS) has a number of resources that support refugee families. The handbook, Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development, focuses on refugee families and the parenting of children from the prenatal period through age 5. Throughout handbook are easy-to-follow illustrations that provide families with information about healthy development, early learning and school readiness, and family engagement in early care. An adaptation of the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) publication, Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook, handbook was authored by BRYCS in collaboration with the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR). Spanish and Arabic translations are expected to be completed during September 2013.

NHSA Dialog, which is published by the National Head Start Association and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, have recently published an issue entirely devoted to Parent Involvement and Engagement In Head Start.

Bridging Worlds: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten is a useful “case study” from The Harvard Family Research Project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *