Eastern Connecticut State University
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Early Childhood Education
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#3: Involving Families

Featuring Jamie Klein

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Parents and other close families members are children's first teachers. In e-clip #3, Jamie Klein, Director of Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center, discusses the importance of building strong, trusting relationships with families. When early childhood administrators and teachers provide a variety of opportunities for families to become involved in classrooms and in programs, parents gain an understanding of what their children are learning, and they have the ability to extend the learning at home.

Discussion Questions for Early Childhood Teachers and Administrators

  1. How do we build trusting relationships with families?
  2. What do we currently do to keep families informed about what their children are learning in the classroom?  What other strategies might we try?
  3. How can we encourage families to get involved in classroom or program activities?
  4. What strategies can we use to extend classroom learning to the home?
  5. What materials might we share with families to support learning at home?

Recommended Reading

  • Baker, A.C. & Manfredi/Petitt, L.A. (2004). Relationships, the heart of quality care: Creating community among adults in early care settings. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Diffily, D. & Morrison, K. eds. (1996). Family-friendly communication for early childhood programs. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

  • Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2009). 50 strategies for communicating and working with diverse families (2nd edition). Prentice Hall.

  • Graves, M. (2000). The essential parent workshop resource. Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press.

  • Keyser, J. (2006). From parents to partners: Building a family-centered early childhood program. St. Paul, MN: Red Leaf Press.

  • Prior, J. &  Gerard, M.R. (2006). Family involvement in early childhood education: Research into practice. Clifton Park, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.

  • Trister Dodge, D. & Phinney, J. (2002). A parent's guide to preschool. Teaching Strategies.

Additional Web Resources on Family Involvement


Credits for Involving Families

Executive Producer: Julia DeLapp

Producer/Director: Denise Matthews

Production Coordinator: Ken Measimer

Student Production Assistant: Kerin Jaros-Dressler


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