Fostering Caring and Meaningful Partnerships between Staff and Families

As the Director of an early childhood education program that includes  a very diverse community of families, you understand the importance of  developing meaningful connections between all of the significant adults  in children’s lives. You have determined that one of the program goals  for this coming year is to improve the number, types, and depth of  staff-family partnerships. As a first step, you asked staff to share  their thoughts, questions, and concerns about working and partnering  with families, and you received the following responses:

  • “I am working so hard on developing relationships with the children,  especially at the beginning of the year, that I don’t have time to  focus on families.”
  • “My children have such diverse backgrounds this year. I’m not sure I  can figure out how to communicate with all of their families.”
  • “We put a lot of work into Family Day and not everyone comes. How  should we follow up with families who didn’t make the effort to join  in?”
  • “Some families seem very hard to reach. How long do you keep trying?”
  • “I wish our families would get to know each other better. I think that might help them connect to our program.”
  • “I know there are different perspectives on parenting, but how do I  balance the cultural preferences they have with what’s best for the  children?”

The staff’s responses/questions tell you that most of the staff is  interested in developing knowledge and skills in this area. You decide  to bring everyone together to talk and to learn in a workshop format.  You create a PowerPoint presentation to encourage conversation and  professional development on this topic, which is so vital to children’s  healthy development and learning.

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To complete this Assessment:

Use the PowerPoint Template provided to create a presentation with an  accompanying script that begins with a Title Slide, ends with a  Reference Slide, and includes slides that cover:

  • A brief introduction explaining why strong partnerships between staff and families are vital to all involved. (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Analyze evidence-based resources in order to suggest:
    • Four research-based strategies to help foster caring and meaningful partnerships between staff and families. (2-3 slides)
    • At least three questions designed to elicit input from staff on key  concepts related to building strong and supportive staff-family  partnerships. (You do not need to answer the questions in your script,  but they should reflect key concepts that you want staff to explore in  greater depth.) (2-3 slides)
    • At least two questions for staff to pose to families, which foster communication between families and staff. (1 slide)