This week, you will continue to develop your Children, Families, and Communities Guidebook by completing the Developing Family Partnerships section. This week’s readings include Chapters 4-7 of the Gestwicki text and focuses on building family partnerships. Chapter 4 presents the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct (Links to an external site.) and Statement of Commitment, specifically describing the nine ideals connected to family involvement. These ideals support an early childhood education professional’s ethical responsibilities and commitments to the families in their settings. Using this chapter, as well as the content in the Gestwicki chapters and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct (Links to an external site.), complete the Family Partnerships section and add it to your text-based or electronic Guidebook using the following requirements. An example of this section and requirements can be referenced in the Instructor Guidance.
Guidebook Setup: Last week, you chose either a text-based or electronic format for your guidebook. This week, you will continue to develop your existing work by adding a new section titled, “Developing Family Partnerships.” You will continue to build your Guidebook using your chosen format from last week.
Guidebook Developing Family Partnerships Section: For this section, you are going to develop nine personal statements of commitment, including action plans for how you will specifically develop family partnerships in your future or current role. For each of the nine NAEYC ethical responsibilities, specific to the family partnerships section, you will:
Writing and Formatting Expectations:
4-5. Mandated Parent
4-5. Mandated Parent Involvement
When the powers that control funding mandate family involvement as a program requirement, there is no longer any debate about whether to have parent participation. Several legislative efforts have included parent participation as part of the required structure in schools and agencies providing services to children. In addition, recent policies and practice guidelines have proclaimed specific directions for programs to follow in relation to families—sometimes in order to win accreditation or professional status. Several examples of mandated parent involvement will be discussed next.
4-5a. Head Start
We have already mentioned Head Start as an example of the research linking family involvement with children’s school success. From the beginning, Head Start was required to have “maximum feasible participation” of the families served. Head Start Performance Standards for family support and parent involvement include the following:
Parents are given a concrete means of doing something for their children. The major role of decision maker is emphasized to offer parents opportunities to become competent in running the program. Parents set the standards for the hiring of professional staff—often interviewing and selecting staff. They also participate in decisions on budgetary matters. Parent decisionmakers influence the agency to become sensitive to the culture and needs of the families served.
4-5b. Title I
More recent federal initiatives authorize funds as part of Chapter I of Title I (of PL 100-297), reauthorized by the Literacy Involves Families Together (LIFT) Act of 2000 and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Called Even Start, the family-centered education program funds local efforts to improve the educational opportunities for the nation’s low-income children and adults by integrating early childhood education and adult education for parents into a unified family-centered Focusing on children and parents as a unit, with the parents becoming active in their children’s development—not relating separately to parents and children. literacy program. The mandate calls for the following:
Each program funded by Title I funds must have a plan to involve families. Sample activities and services for families that may be funded by Title I include the following:
An example of the mandated involvement for parents can be seen in a Parent/School Partnership agreement signed by parents whose children were participating in a pre-kindergarten program funded by Title I resources. In this agreement, parents agree to the following:
Parents are informed that failure to fulfill these requirements may mean their child cannot remain in the program.
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