Without a doubt, families are an essential part of childrenâ€™s learning and educational journey - starting at birth. â€śEngaging families as partners early in the educational journey allows parents to establish strong home-school connections that support their childrenâ€™s achievement long-term â€ś(Start Early, September 25, 2019). So, it is not surprising that â€śfamily engagementâ€ť is a frequent and important theme of discussions and planning in child care programs.
Early care and education professionals are typically strategizing and implementing ideas to engage families around childrenâ€™s early learning and development â€“ from meeting with parents to set common goals to providing access to parent resources, from school-home communication to parent education events, and more. However, as the Coronavirus pandemic shook the world in early 2020, it left the child care system grappling with many uncertainties and challenges including how to engage and stay connected with families in the new norm of social distancing practices.
Thanks to a global initiative called Vroom, child care programs can easily integrate science-based resources and tools for families into their formal family engagement plans. Because Vroom provides downloadable resources on early brain development and offers over 1,000 brain-building tips through a Vroom app, Vroom by Textâ„˘ and Alexa, it is simple for child care programs to share tools and information that support childrenâ€™s learning and development during everyday moments at home.
â€śI am excited to incorporate Vroom into the classrooms but also as an extension with our families.â€ť(Early Care and Education Provider)
If you are a child care program, below are tips for how you can share brain-building tools and resources virtually to engage and support families with young children. If you are an organization, you can share these tips in your outreach and services to child care programs. Here are more family engagement tips.
â€śThis has been such a great resource to encourageÂ family engagement. It is now part of our family engagement tool!â€ť(Child Care Resource and Referral agency)Â
Join Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) to celebrate and elevate the importance of engaging families in childrenâ€™s early education and development throughout November. CCAoA has put together digital resources, inspiring messages, and tips that make it easier for child care programs to connect with families and engage families in childrenâ€™s everyday learning. Child care programs can quickly grab a digital resource to integrate into their family engagement and home-school communication efforts.