Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care
Promote Family Engagement
What policies can states use to move toward this recommendation?
To move toward this recommendation and the general policy strategies outlined above, states may use multiple policy tools and opportunities for intervention. Potential state policies include the following:
- Require in state licensing that center-based and family child care providers adopt family partnership and parental involvement practices tailored to parents of infants and toddlers, including a full range of family engagement and support strategies.
- Target resources for programs serving a high percentage of subsidized families to bring family support resources into their programs (via partnerships, contractually, or by developing staff capacity).
- Provide incentives or information to encourage subsidy families to choose programs that have effective parent engagement strategies in place.
- Create subsidy policies that provide incentives for partnerships between state or federally funded home visiting programs and child care providers serving subsidized children. These types of partnerships have been shown to increase the quality of adult-to-child and adult-to-adult interactions in the caregiving setting and in the child's home. They also offer family support to parents, as well as FFN providers, who are often part of the child's extended family.
- For providers serving subsidized families, require and pay for the costs of developing their own capacity or collaborating with a community-based agency to establish family partnerships and offer regular home visits with the families of infants and toddlers in care.
- Provide contracts to EHS providers and other child care providers who include home visits and strong family engagement practices in their program model in order to serve low-income children receiving child care assistance. By encouraging partnerships between EHS and child care providers serving subsidized families, states can also reach more families with EHS home visits.
- Provide higher payment rates for FCC and FFN caregivers participating in home visiting programs.
- Provide best practices and technical assistance to infant/toddler center-based and family child care providers on parent involvement, including culturally appropriate strategies for including parents in program development, giving parents opportunities to share concerns about their children's development with providers, and helping parents link to and continue the curriculum their children are experiencing at home.
- Create, require, and support incentives for providers serving subsidized families to attend training on and practice research-based family engagement strategies with the families of infants and toddlers and target state professional development dollars to developing capacity in this area.
- Provide funding for providers to have on-site capacity to share referrals or offer on-site opportunities for parents to enhance their parenting skills, knowledge, and understanding of the educational and developmental needs and activities of their children, and to improve family literacy.
- Establish provisions in quality standards or licensing standards that promote regular and culturally appropriate communication in state Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), including provisions related to cultural and linguistic diversity, professional development, and culturally competent family engagement practices. Further, approaches such as Strengthening Families should be incorporated into programs' quality improvement plans.
- Include parenting education and family support as key components of the state's comprehensive early childhood system. The Bureau of Maternal and Child Health has identified these as two of five critical components of a comprehensive system and as a potential use for Title V Child and Maternal Health dollars. For example, states should include in their comprehensive system plans strategies that promote positive parenting practices through child care programs.
- Partner with immigrant-serving organizations and other community-based organizations to provide family support services in child care settings and to assist child care providers in designing family engagement practices that are culturally appropriate.
Related Project Recommendations
Marlene Zepeda, Frances Varela, Alex Morales, Promoting Positive Parenting Practices Through Parenting Education.
in Building State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Series No. 13
, ed.Halfon N, Rice T, and Inkelas M, National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy; 2004.
Visit page: http://www.clasp.org/babiesinchildcare/recommendations?id=0010