|Principles of Effective Practice|
Principle 1: Programs invite families to participate in decision making and goal setting for their child
What it means: Programs invite families to actively take part in decision-making opportunities concerning their children’s education. Programs and families collaborate in establishing goals for children’s education and learning both at home and at school.
The programs NAEYC recognized for their family engagement practices consider the needs of the children in their care as inseparable from the needs of their families. They understand the necessary role families play in making decisions about their own children and include families in shared decision making about and goal setting for their children’s education and learning. Programs use the following strategies.
Intake questionnaire. Many programs begin with an intake questionnaire so teachers can learn about each child and family and begin some mutual goal setting.
Primary caregivers. Several programs assign a primary caregiver to establish and maintain strong family–school connections.
Parent-teacher conferences. Each program conducts parent-teacher conferences on a regular basis (usually twice per year), in part to initiate a joint goal-setting process. During conferences teachers and families discuss goals for children both at home and at school.
Developed for NAEYC's Engaging Diverse Families Project through a generous grant from the Picower Foundation.
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