Online Resources on Family Involvement are available from the Harvard Family Research Project.
Star programs encourage parental involvement by:
- Developing written policies and signed contracts.
- Designing and using parent handbooks and packets.
- Having a newsletter for your home/center.
- Welcoming parents into center/home.
- Using daily care sheets or some sort of written system for sharing the day’s events.
- Having an open house; invite the Fire Marshall, health inspectors, etc., to meet parents.
- Holding at least one parent conference yearly, twice a year is better.
- Allowing parents to become involved in the program.
- Having information available to parents about community resources and make referrals as needed.
- Surveying parents
- Making home visits
- Having coffee available in the mornings.
- Having an information board prominently displayed.
- Making and keep a parent resource area stocked with pamphlets, articles, parenting tips.
- Starting a parent Library for checking out books, toys, and videos.
- Having grandparent or special people days.
- Planning birthday and holiday celebrations and programs.
- Inviting parents on field trips -- the extra arms and eyes are great!
- Convening a parent committee to help with fundraising, planning, curriculum, center upkeep, etc.
- Inviting parents to share their life or job skills/talents with you and the children.
- Making photo books or boards, videotapes, artwork collections, etc.
- Having parents and staff bring family photos to post.
- Visiting parents at work -- some work places make great field trips!
- Offering classes (i.e. behavior and guidance, exercise) and/or invite speakers to your center or home.
- Having family potluck dinners, cookouts, picnics, teas, luncheons, breakfasts, garage sales, etc.
- Havng parents save and bring supplies (scrap material, cans, plastic bottles, yarn, newspapers, dress up clothes, cardboard boxes, etc.)
- Having volunteer days for fixing, painting, yard work, etc.
- Holding a garage or yard sale
- Sending information home with parents (i.e. SIDS, home safety checklists, fire safety, poison control stickers, etc.)
- Helping set up family support groups after hours at the center/home (divorce, death, etc.)
- Having parents read books on tape for the children.
- Posting lesson plans, daily activities.
- Allowing parents to volunteer in the center.
- Doing a family of the month poster board.
- Having families represent your center or home and participate in community service, like canned food drives.
- Having a movie night at the center.
- Offering free developmental testing/hearing at center (LINKS).
- Having the Caring Van come and do immunizations (a great service for parents and children!)
- Having parents plan activities and help with Week of the Young Child.
- Holding age specific talks for sharing information by classroom -- for example toilet learning, school readiness.