Parent Engagement Practices Improve Outcomes for Preschool Children

Parent Engagement Practices Improve Outcomes for Preschool Children

Programs that help low-income parents engage their children in at-home learning opportunities during their preschool years can narrow educational achievement gaps in elementary school and beyond, an issue brief from Pennsylvania State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation argues. The brief, Parent Engagement Practices Improve Outcomes for Preschool Children (10 pages, PDF), found that while parents living in poverty face challenges that limit their access to high-quality preschools, programs designed to boost parent engagement in their preschoolers' education frequently lead to an improvements in school readiness, fewer behavioral problems, improved social skills, and greater academic success. To really reduce gaps in school readiness, however, longer-term and more intensive programs aimed at promoting positive parenting practices and parent-child relationships, encouraging home learning activities and effective teaching strategies, strengthening parent-teacher partnerships, and emphasizing child physical health, including nutrition and physical activity, are needed.