November is Family Engagement Month! Governor Cooper's proclamation reminds us that families are children's first, longest lasting, and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers. Strong family engagement is central to promoting children's healthy development and wellness. It is important for schools, early learning settings, and communities to welcome families, to plan for family engagement, and to assist families in engaging their child's learning. Created in partnership with the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, the Early Childhood Family Engagement Month Calendar, available in English and Spanish, is packed with fun parenting ideas and resources for families!
To support the early childhood system in planning for and embedding family engagement into programs and services, the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) and its partners are pleased to introduce the Family Engagement and Leadership Framework, which is available in English and Spanish.
This Framework defines and identifies important family engagement concepts, upholding the definition of family engagement as "doing with-not for-families" and the vision that agencies and programs align strategies to intentionally engage and learn from the adults in a child's life. A Summary of the Framework is also available in English and Spanish.
A companion document, the Family Engagement Action Guide & Toolkit draws from the local-level family engagement planning experiences of ten local Smart Start communities, and includes tools and strategies to increase family engagement and leadership in communities.
Building Family Engagement and Leadership is an activity of North Carolina's Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5), a competitive federal grant designed to support the healthy development of young children through three major activities:
- Maximizing family engagement in their children's early learning;
- Improving transitions for children and families across child care and elementary schools; and
- Improving the overall quality of early learning that young children experience.
For more information about North Carolina's early childhood family engagement and leadership work, contact Alexandra Morris with the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education at email@example.com.