This paper explores the alignment between the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP’s) Strengthening Families approach and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework so that leaders in states, agencies and early childhood programs, including Head Start programs, can understand the contributions of these frameworks and make informed decisions about implementation strategies to promote parent, family and community engagement to support children’s healthy development and improved outcomes.
As the growing understanding of the importance of children’s early years drives increasing attention to early childhood programs, more state systems and local programs are seeking tools to effectively engage parents as partners in supporting young children’s learning and development. The Strengthening Families approach and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework were each designed with this in mind. As states and programs use these frameworks to guide their family engagement efforts, it is helpful to understand more about the intended uses and areas of emphasis of each framework.
At the heart of both Strengthening Families and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement framework is the understanding that partnering with parents is essential to promoting children’s learning and development. Each provides useful platforms for building community partnerships and coordinated systems that put the needs of families at the center.