Family-Provider Relationships: A Multidisciplinary Review of High Quality Practices and Associations with Family, Child, and Provider Outcomes


On both the federal and state levels, policymakers and program administrators are interested in how early
care and education settings can improve child and family outcomes through the implementation of effective practices with children and with their families. Family engagement in children’s learning and educational settings and family-sensitive care, which describes aspects of practice that support parents and families, are two related conceptual frameworks, both with the ultimate goal of supporting families in order to promote positive child development. With states including measures of practice and interactions with families in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) ratings and Head Start’s focus on family engagement, there is a growing interest in identifying and measuring the core elements common to both the family-sensitive care and family engagement frameworks. In response to this interest, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, sponsored the Family- Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement Working Meeting: Identifying and Measuring Common Core Elements. This meeting brought together researchers and federal staff to work towards identifying common core elements of family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving in early care and education settings.1 This Brief is based on knowledge gained through a review of the literature, conducted in preparation for the Family- Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement meeting. The purpose of this multi-disciplinary literature review is to: a) identify common practices in positive family-provider relationships; b) explore associations between these relational practices and child, family, and provider outcomes; and c) provide a framework and evidence to support the development of future measures.

Source: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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