Family Engagement

Family Engagement


(MUSIC)>>Family engagement is a
critical part of high quality early child care and
education. When done well, family
engagement practices can support the healthy social,
emotional, cognitive and physical development of young
children, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic
background.>>As parents are forming their
bond with their children, they are developing the
skills to encourage and engage their children. And when families are engaged
with their children, children are confident, children are
motivated, and children are supported and ready to enter
school and ready to learn.>>Family engagement means
building relationships with families that support family
well-being, strong parent-child relationships
and the ongoing learning and development of parents and
children alike. Family engagement is a shared
responsibility of families, schools and communities for
student learning and achievement. It is continuous from birth
into the school-age years. And it occurs across all
early care and child learning environments. It reflects culturally
competent approaches including the beliefs,
attitudes, behaviors and activities of all families,
as well as supporting all children’s positive
development.>>It’s more than just signing
your child in and out of, you know, a program. It’s actually being a part of
the entire process. It’s not just the end
product, it’s the process of working with your children.>>Maryland’s Race to the
Top-Early Learning Challenge grant provides an opportunity
to coordinate Maryland state’s early childhood
family engagement practices and identify a common set of
goals for Maryland’s family engagement initiatives. The seven goals of family
engagement are family well-being, positive
parent-child relationships, supporting parents as
lifelong educators, supporting educational
aspirations of the family, supporting engagement in
transition, connecting family to peers and community and
creating leaders and child advocates. These seven goals create
program foundations of leadership and professional
development along with impacting environments,
families, teaching and learning strategies and
community partnerships. These all lead to the most
important outcome – school readiness.>>The better the family does,
the better the child’s progress in school is. When that parent’s there, you
can see the difference in the way that child just beams.>>Families, particularly those
with limited income, benefit from family engagement
practices when early care and education providers link them
to support in times of need, help them to build their peer
networks, increase their understanding of child
development and provide classes and training to
enhance their parenting practices and improve job
skills.>>I get a lot of help and
support. Emotionally, you know,
whatever I’m going through personally, they’re there. They help me a lot with
anything I need for my kids. So they’re really there for
me.>>Maryland state programs that
are successfully helping families and providing
additional resources for family engagement inclue
Maryland Family Network, Judy Center Partnerships, Early
Head Start and Head Start programs, libraries and
MSDE’s division of early childhood development. Families and early childhood
caregivers are children’s first teachers. So family engagement becomes
essential to the success of the early learning process.>>But you don’t start having
communication skills with your child when they turn 13. That happens a lot earlier. And so you have to have your
child understand that you’re going to be part of their
life. And you’re on their team. And you’re going to encourage
them and give them the tools so they can win the game. And the game in this case is
succeeding in school. For more information, visit
MSDE’s website – marylandpublicschools.org (MUSIC)

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