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Issue Brief: Parent Engagement Practices Improve Outcomes for Preschool Children (January 2017)


This research brief describes current approaches and highlights findings from recent studies with preschool children (ages 3-5) that document both the promise and challenge of effectively engaging families and children at risk for poor school readiness. We focus in particular on effective parent engagement models that improve school readiness outcomes in well-controlled studies. Systematic approaches and next generation research are recommended to improve the impact of parent engagement programs in order to reduce disparities in school readiness associated with family socioeconomic status.

Key Findings

  • Parent Engagement During the Preschool Years is Key to Children's Success
  • Parent Engagements are Especially Critical for Children Growing Up in Low-income Families
  • Early Education Programs Set Parent Engagement Goals but Challenges Remain
  • Parent Engagement Programs Can Promote Positive School Outcomes for Children


Family Engagement Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources