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Promote family engagement: Charting progress for babies in child care

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Johnson-Staub, Christine
Publication Date: 
19 Nov 2013


Promote Family Engagement is part of CLASP's "Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care" project, an effort to link research to policy ideas to help states make the best decisions for infants and toddlers in child care. This latest resource provides research documenting the importance of effective family engagement and strategies for engaging and partnering with families in caring for their babies and toddlers. It also includes policy recommendations states can consider to support and strengthen family engagement in child care settings through state child care licensing, subsidy and quality enhancement policies. Specifically, the resource finds:

  • Babies do better when family members and child care providers and caregivers have consistent, communicative relationships and families feel engaged in and supported in their child care arrangements.
  • Family support and parenting education in child care can improve outcomes for infants and toddlers and their families.
  • Family engagement and support strategies should consider the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of families.
  • Models of best practices in family support and engagement offer guidance to child care providers and caregivers.

The paper includes policy recommendations states can consider to improve their family engagement strategies for infants and toddlers. Recommendations include how states can: promote the incorporation of best practices around culturally competent communication into child care, promote effective family support and parenting education models in child care settings, and help programs serving infants and toddlers incorporate practices that provide families with opportunities to engage in their children's learning in a variety of ways at home, in the program, and in leadership roles.