A Secret Sauce Makes the Family and Community Engagement Recipe Work


This article details effective components of family and community engagement that have shown to increase parent involvement in their children’s education. These five “ingredients” include:

  • co-creating a vision for parent engagement with families;
  • increasing awareness and understanding of the Head Start Engagement Framework;
  • getting to know families and learning best methods of communication;
  • finding new ways for parents to be involved based on their skill set or finding solutions to barriers to involvement;
  • and regularly reviewing family and community needs in order to anticipate potential shifts in engagement with the program.

It was found that being on the same page as the parents is important in setting the tone of the program, and consistency in communication and accountability is crucial to the program’s success. When early head start programs were exposed to different cultures of childcare, they were able to embrace their own continuous improvement in family and community engagement, increasing the efficacy of their programs.

Stark, D. R., Brown, D., & Jerald, J. (2019, March). A Secret Sauce Makes the Family and Community Engagement Recipe Work. ZERO TO THREE39(5), 54–57.

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