Working with Families
Families are children’s first and most important teachers. Children are best supported when early care and education providers work in partnership with their families.
(Within this collection, there are resources that can be shared with families, while others could be used to help providers think about the strategies they use to engage family involvement.)
This video 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.
Early childhood professionals face the continual challenge of planning for the entire classroom while meeting each child’s individual needs. This video stresses the importance of observing children and assessing their strengths and needs to determine how best to support them. When teachers identify children’s interests, work closely with their instructional team, and partner with families, they can effectively support the learning needs of all children in their classroom.
Research shows that having conversations with children during book reading can significantly improve their understanding of the book and build their early literacy skills. This video series provides guidance for how parents from multilingual households can support their children's language and literacy development, as well as help maintain first language proficiency by spending time reading every day in both English and their first language. Videos are available in both English and Spanish.
Many preschool classrooms now include children whose first language is not English. This video provides guidance for early childhood professionals on how to support children as they develop oral language skills in both their first and second languages.
In 2008, the Center began a three-year effort to improve the early literacy skills of over 500 preschool children in Windham, Connecticut under a U.S. Department of Education Early Reading First grant. This 30-minute video shares some of the important lessons learned during the Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) project.
This video explores the importance of preserving a child’s first language, the four stages of English acquisition for dual language learners, and a multitude of strategies that teachers can implement to help dual language learners develop the oral language skills they need to become proficient. Included is an interview with a parent who describes how his child's teacher supported his child, for whom English is a second language, as well as their family.