Communication Strategies for Collaborative Partnerships with Families

We all know communication between early learning programs and families is important, but did you know that research shows that strong family partnerships can actually lead to better outcomes for children? Do you wish you had more tools to communicate confidently with families when you have a developmental concern about a child? Do you find yourself relating more easily to parents who speak the same language as you or who are from the same culture as you? 
IMPACT’s Partnering with Families: Strategies for Successful Communication course is full of evidence-based tools, strategies, and resources to support you and your team as you build strong partnerships and have collaborative conversations with families about difficult but important topics. Don’t miss next week’s opportunity to learn and practice these strategies with IMPACT trainers as they deliver this content live. 
You’ll learn strategies that will transform how you communicate – not only with families you work with but with colleagues and even your own friends and family! 

These strategies come from a technique called Motivational Interviewing, which is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication. Armed with these new communication techniques, teachers and administrators can feel more confident in their ability to partner with families and work collaboratively to support the children in their care.

When we build collaborative partnerships with families, everyone benefits. Families feel valued and respected and are more equipped to support their child’s development at home. Educators learn valuable information from families that give them a more holistic view of the child and they can more effectively support the child’s behavior and development at school. And ultimately, the children we serve have better outcomes when all of the adults in their world are working together to support them. Check out this resource from NAEYC to learn more about the importance of true partnership with families.

Family engagement should start at or even before a new child enrolls in your program. Being thoughtful about the questions you are asking a family on your enrollment forms can help establish the expectation that family input is valued, and partnership is an important part of your program. By learning about a child’s developmental history, interests, strengths, and challenges from the beginning, you can empower the family as the expert on their child and show them that you value their perspective. 

When you enroll in the on-demand course and live training on this topic, you will get a Family Conference Planning Form template to use in your own work. This form allows you to plan out your goals for the meeting, child’s strengths and any concerns you want to discuss, as well as any questions you have for the family. Educators report that they have more successful, collaborative conversations with families when they go into their meetings or parent-teacher conferences prepared with all of this information.

We hope you will join us to learn all of this and more at IMPACT’s live training on March 14th! Or if you can’t make it at that time or missed it, check out our on-demand course, accessible anytime. And from us here at IMPACT - thank you for all that you do to support the children and families you work with every day. Having the wisdom and expertise of early childhood educators is invaluable for parents as they learn about their child and support their development and behavior.