Dads Matter

Spending time together should start early. We all know moms’ and dads’ lives are forever changed when a child comes into their world. Babies who get lots of warm and positive attention from their dads feel more secure. Father involvement is linked to positive cognitive outcomes for a child and father involvement in pregnancy is linked to a reduction in infant mortality.

That’s why text4baby – through its free text messaging service – is launching new messages for expecting fathers and fathers with babies under the age of 1. These three messages contain critical information and tips on how to improve child health and safety, ways to engage with your baby and how to support a mother’s health.

New messages also reinforce how moms can support dads in their role as a parent. Moms can encourage dads to sign up or dads can sign up themselves and their friends by texting BABY or BEBE for Spanish to 511411. When you sign up, enter the baby’s date of birth so that you get the appropriate messages for you and your baby.

Click here to read a Fathers Day blog from the White House about these new dad-specific messages.

Source: text4baby

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via text4baby – Dads Matter.

Father Engagement is Everybody’s Business Webinar – Head Start


This webinar introduces a new resource from the Office of Head Start, Head Start Father Engagement: A Birth to Five Programming Guide. Presenters draw on the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework to identify systemic and integrated strategies for father engagement. They provide an overview of current research, discuss program planning, and identify professional development activities that will support program efforts.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement

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Las Manos de Apá Resources – Head Start


This set of resources is designed to support Latino fathers as early literacy models for their children. The resources outline creating father-friendly environments, building community supports, sharing stories, and supporting early literacy for young children. Head Start and Early Head Start staff may find these practice models useful when working with Latino fathers. Many of the resources and activities are in English and Spanish.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Father absence in early childhood linked to depression in adolescent girls


New research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol shows that girls whose fathers were absent during the first five years of life were more likely to develop depressive symptoms in adolescence than girls whose fathers left when they were aged five to ten years or than boys in both age groups (0-5 and 5-10), even after a range of factors was taken into account.

While previous studies have looked at the effect of childhood separation and divorce on the risk of depression in adolescence, this new research, published today [15 May] in Psychological Medicine, is one of only a few studies to look specifically at the effect of a father’s absence and the timing of his departure on adolescents’ mental health.

Source: Health News

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Improving Father Engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start

ACF Administration for Childrenand Families
Log No. ACF-IM-HS-13-01.
Issuance Date: 06/04/20133.
Originating Office: Office of Head Start.
Key Words: Father Engagement

TO: Head Start and Early Head Start Grantee and Delegate Agencies

SUBJECT: Improving Father Engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start

INFORMATION:Head Start has a long history of focusing on fathers and father figures as important contributors to the school readiness of children and the well-being of families. Since 2004, when the Office of Head Start OHS introduced Building Blocks for Father Involvement to the Head Start community, many programs have continued to make their program environments more father-friendly and support fathers strengths, needs, and aspirations for themselves and their children.

Father engagement is not a stand-alone initiative, but rather a vital and integrated aspect of parent, family, and community engagement efforts in Head Start and Early Head Start. The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 identifies the importance of father engagement in particular for those communities participating in the designation renewal process. The Act refers to outreach to fathers and father figures and the inclusion of fathers in home visits and parent-teacher conferences. Section 641d2J [42 USC 9836] of the Act also refers to male participation in the program and to partnerships with male family members that strengthen their roles as parents and as educators of their children.

Source: Office of Head Start

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