Family Engagement According to the Feds


The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are requesting comments on a draft policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices from the early years to the early grades. The comment period has been extended to COB January 4, 2016.

Document: 
draft_hhs_ed_family_engagement.pdf

       Also

 available for online download at: 
www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/draft_hhs_ed_family_engagement.pdf

 

Comments are requested on the draft statement to inform the final document to COB January 4, 2016 (extended from the previous date of December 21, 2015) by emailing your comments to:

ECD@acf.hhs.gov.

 

Background

ED and HHS have established the Early Learning Interagency Policy Board (IPB) to develop policy recommendations and improve program coordination and quality across federally funded early learning and development programs serving children from birth through age eight. Previously, ED and HHS have released policy statements on Expulsion and Suspension Polices in Early Childhood Settings and Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs based on public comments received.

It is the Departments’ position that strong family engagement is central in promoting children’s healthy development and wellness, including:

  • social-emotional and behavioral development;
  • preparing children for school;
  • seamlessly transitioning them to kindergarten; and
  • supporting academic achievement in elementary school and beyond.

When families and the institutions where children learn partner in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success. To further this position, the Departments will release a policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices in early childhood and learning programs.

The draft policy statement:

  • Reviews the research base that supports effective family engagement in children’s learning, development and wellness;
  • Identifies core principles of effective family engagement practices from HHS’ and ED’s family engagement frameworks;
  • Provides recommendations to states, Local Education Agencies (LEAs), schools and community-based early childhood programs for implementing effective family engagement practices; and
  • Highlights resources for states, LEAs, schools, and early childhood program to build capacity to effectively partner with families.

This statement comes direct from  ED and HHS, and offers a bright perspective on meaningful involvement by parents and caregivers in education. Federal guidelines and policies that direct family engagement practices may just be the impetus that will lead to the true transformation of the framework of learning, education, and strengthening families….

First step in “stopping the pipeline”!

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