Family Partnerships

Family Partnerships

ECE 313 Collaboration with Parents and Community

Family Partnerships

Family-Centered Approach

A holistic approach to working with children and their families that recognize all children develop, grow, and learn within the context of a family, and therefore early childhood programs must serve the whole families (Wardle, 2013). The purpose of a family-centered approach is to encourage the family to participate in fun and engaging activities to encourage bonding and parents can improve on their parenting skills.

Benefits of a Family-Centered Approach

Obstacles to Overcome in a Family-Centered Approach

  • Supportive relationships
  • Enriched communication
  • Shared decision making and power
  • Continuity between home and programs
  • Strengthened family bond (Wardle, 2013)

In a family-centered approach there is a lot of diversity within the centers. Diversity is not just defined by race, culture or ethnicity-it is multidimensional and all its dimensions are important to understanding families and how they function (Moore, 2010). All families are different and they have unique cultural expectations of their family members. As educators, we must become familiar with the culture ethics of our children in order to show respect to their

diversity. On a daily basis in a family-centered approach there is miscommunication between parents and teachers because of various perspectives and lack of communication skills. “Effective communication is not easy. It requires two-way communication that enables families to learn from the knowledge and expertise of program staff, and for program staff to learn from their families” (Wardle, 2013). Communication is the key for teachers to establish and build strong relationships with their parents.

Strategies to Overcome Obstacles


  • Invite parents to class and share about their culture (food, clothing, language etc)
  • Provide parents daily or monthly with notes or newsletters

Moore, T. G. (2010). Family-centered practice: Challenges in working with diverse families. ResearchGate. Retrieved from

Wardle, F. (2013). Collaboration with families and communities [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

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