The Importance of Partnerships with Families and Communities

 In Children, Education

As children develop, it is important for Families and Educators to understand the importance partnerships between not only them but also the community.

As stated in Excerpts from “Elect”, 2007 (pgs. 3,4)

Partnerships with families and communities strengthen the ability of early childhood settings to meet the needs of your children.

Family Involvement in early childhood settings benefits children (Weiss et al., 2006) and multiplies children’s opportunities for learning.  Parents and other caregivers who are involved in early childhood settings tend to be more supportive of children’s learning and their children tend to have positive outcomes in primary grades (Cleveland et al., 2006; Sylva et al., 2004).

Early childhood settings can reinforce the interrelationship of care and learning and the benefits of direct family participation in children’s early learning and development.

Family and community involvement is a focus for educational improvement in Canada and internationally (Pelletier, 2006).  Family involvement in schools is associated with academic success across all socio-economic groups.

Learning about community life can be part of projects in early childhood settings that include community field visits, community experts and relevant artifacts from home and community to promote learning.  Links within communities bring together families, school s and early childhood programs and bring the local environment into the daily activities of young children.  Children benefit from respectful interactions with a variety of community members.

Families who are involved are more likely to establish peer networks with other families and to have more information about their children’s school.  Family involvement in school settings includes parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making and collaborating with the community.  These strategies can be useful to organizing family involvement in early childhood settings. (Epstein & Sanders, 2002; Corter & Pelletier, 2005).

As a family or educator, what are you doing to embrace partnerships within the education system?  As we continue to learn, let’s do everything possible to assist the children in being capable, competent learners who will be successful in the years to come.

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