From Principles to Practice: Building a Family Engagement Culture

From Principles to Practice: Building a Family Engagement Culture

A "learning brief" from the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment and Engage R+D outlines a shared definition of and guiding principles for effective family engagement in early childhood education. According to the report, From Principles to Practice: Building a Family Engagement Culture (6 pages, PDF), high-impact family engagement is a shared responsibility of stakeholders to work in partnership with families in meaningful and culturally respectful ways throughout a child's life, from cradle to career and everywhere children learn — at home, in child and healthcare settings, and in community spaces. The five guiding principles are: foster mutual respect, build trusting relationships and shared responsibility and leadership; respect, value, and be responsive to cultural and linguistic assets; engage families where they are; support strong social networks and connections; and foster an integrated and family-centered systems approach. The brief examines approaches taken by the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and First 5 LA, and finds that philanthropy can offer not only funding but thought partnership and a supportive, learning culture, and that keeping the work family-centered across organizations and systems requires deliberate, constant effort.