ECE Parent Involvement

 What is Family Involvement?

Family involvement means that families work together with care givers and teachers to create an atmosphere that strengthens learning both at the program and in the home. It includes the many ways that family members can influence children's education. For example:

  • You can be a customer because early childhood education is a service for families. Like other customers, you can tell programs what you like and don't like about the program, and offer ideas about how to make it better.
  • You can be a supporter of the program by giving materials (snacks, classroom supplies) to the program. You can sell things (baked goods, t-shirts) to raise money, and ask for donations from local businesses who want to support the program. You can find new families by advertising in local newspapers, and places where families go during the day.
  • You can be a volunteer. You can work at your child's program and help teachers in the classroom or at snack time or lunch. Sometimes helping at school lets you go to teacher training workshops on issues like health and safety. Sometimes it means taking part in classroom activities like reading to your children.
  • You can be an advocate for the program by talking to school board members and local politicians about the benefits of the program and the need for continued funding. It is your job to let the community know the importance of the early childhood program.
  • You can be on the parent-teacher association (PTA) or on a parent advisory board that helps plan the program, hire staff, and raise money. This job lets you have a direct say in how the program affects your family.
  • You can be a learner. Research shows that parents' child-rearing practices and beliefs are related to the child's performance in school. A good early childhood program can help you learn about your own children's development and what you can do to best support their learning and social skills. They can offer you ideas about how to help your children learn at home. They can provide information about what aspects of the home, what parents do, and what their attitudes are that are most important to children's early school success.
  • You are the best resource for information about your child. Each child is special and you can help the program adapt to your child's individual differences. If your child has a disability, this is particularly important.

Cited from:

Parents Involvement in Schools
This is a comprehensive site that gives many resources for parental involvement.  Through this site, parents can learn how schools are involving parents today, and what strategies can work to keep them involved in their child’s learning experiences.

Increase Parent Involvement With First Day of School Activities
This article discusses the First Day of School Holiday, proposed by Terry Ehrich, which involves parents and their communities. It has been shown to increase parent involvement throughout the entire year.


This website provides information and insight on an array of issues that today’s schools face.  Issues such as school fundraising, preventing violence in schools and many other important concerns that are part of our school communities are addressed in this website.
This website is a great resource for any parent looking to get involved in his or her child’s school system.  There are various programs, tools, events, and message boards that would be helpful ideas and insights for parents.  There are also great opportunities for parents to connect with other parents in their school system, such as “2 Hour Power”, which is PTO Today’s newest volunteer pledge program for parents.


Parent Cooperative Preschool International
This website goes into more detail about the non-profit international council, PCPI, which is dedicated to family and the community.  The website also discusses the positive aspects of cooperative preschools and how to determine if this is the type of preschool you would like to send your child.  The website breaks down the benefits of cooperative preschool for the parents, children, and the community itself. 

Literacy And Parental Engagement

Parent Involvement and Early Literacy

This website presents a HFRP (Harvard Family Research Project) done on parent involvement in early literacy.  This website goes into explaining how important home-school involvement is for young children, particularly for those children from disadvantaged families, and that teachers should be made more aware of the importance of the establishment of a home-school connection. Results from this study presents evidence that parents’ involvement both at school and at home may be related to children’s higher literacy skills. 

How to Encourage Writing with your Preschooler

The Journey from Scribbles to the Written Word
Letter Perfect: Helping Kids Learn to Write
These two links help parents encourage their young children to write. The first link focuses on the process of learning to write. The second one focuses on letter writing.

Family Literacy Strategies to Support Children’s Learning
This article helps parents understand what family literacy programs entail.  If they are having difficulties helping their children with reading and writing, this article suggests ways that they can become involved and ways they can become their child’s primary teacher.

Parent Involvement and Multiculturalism

Impact Multicultural Family Center Inc.

School-based program serviced by a School Based Intervention Team. (SBIT) The School-Based Intervention Team works together as effective problem-solvers in schools. SBIT Teams consists of general and special-education teachers, counselors, social workers and support staff. The SBIT teams provide educational evidenced-based, classroom-friendly interventions and therapeutic groups to address student problems.

Expanding Multicultural Activities Across the Curriculum for Preschoolers
Action-based research was conducted in a pre-school class to determine whether an increased emphasis on multicultural activities across the curriculum would increase children’s positive socialization behaviors; increase parent involvement; and improve the class’s Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) relative to diversity. Following implementation of a variety of multicultural activities, significant increases were noted in the children’s prosocial behaviors.

California 12th District PTA
Website that contains an actual example of a District PTA in effect in California that was created to serve all 12th District PTA councils, units, children and youth. Great resources and program ideas to advocate for the youth.

Parent Participation in Title 1 Programs
Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy was created to ensure that the Title 1 plan contains a written statement of guidelines, which has been developed with, approved by and distributed to parents of participating multicultural students.

Challenges to Parental School Involvement in Multicultural Communities

One of the most-discussed issues within modern education circles is parental involvement in schools. Teachers want to get their students’ families more involved; parents want to know how to do so, given many perceived obstacles; and students want to know their parents care about their achievement. However, involving parents in the school community is not an easy task. Teachers and parents differ on what it means to be involved, and parents perceive roadblocks in their involvement. Learn more about the challenges of multicultural parent involvement.

Parents Design L.A. Parent Involvement Model
Los Angeles parents have a new tool this fall to help them be more active and engaged in their children’s schools.  The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will be implementing a new model for involving parents in schools that specifically addresses the needs of “parents of color with kids who struggle in urban schools.”

 The ABC's to Parental Involvement:

By: Craig Bystrysnki
An article that discusses 26 different ideas that are in practice right now that help teachers work with multicultural parental involvement.

Multicultural Benchmarks
Schoolwide considerations that can be used that include eight multicultural benchmarks to utilize in order to maintain an effective multicultural school.

Build a Multicultural PTO

  • Abstract: Strategies to include and integrate multicultural parents and progressive multicultural ideas into your curriculum.

Family Involvement in Early Multicultural Learning

  • Abstract: Research supports the idea that children's early childhood experiences are powerful in influencing their cultural understandings. Recent studies suggest that the intimate involvement of parents and teachers with young children provides natural opportunities for modeling, guiding, and nurturing positive racial, ethnic, and cultural attitudes and perspectives.

Guidelines to go by When Choosing Multicultural Literature in the Classroom

  • Abstract: Setting, language, stereotypes, and tough issues are all discussed in this article about how to choose accurate multicultural literature for your classroom. 

Hispanic Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Programs

  • Abstract: This article focuses on the difficulty Hispanic Parents face when trying to become involved in their child’s school.  It suggests several strategies Hispanic Parents can use to help them feel comfortable and become more engaged with their child’s school system.

Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Checklist for Multicultural Classrooms

  • The purpose of this all-inclusive checklist to assist teachers in evaluating and improving each aspect of their bilingual/cross-cultural program.