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Policy Statement on Family Engagement: From the Early Years to the Early Grades May 2016


Both the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) recognize the critical role of family engagement in promoting children’s success in early childhood systems and programs. As such, both agencies have developed research-based family engagement frameworks to guide the development of effective family engagement policies and practices: HHS’s Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework and ED’s Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships. It is the goal of the Departments that all early childhood systems recognize and support families as essential partners in providing services that improve children’s learning, development, and wellness. This joint HHS-ED statement aims to advance this goal by:

  • Reviewing the research base, legal requirements, and best practices that support effective family engagement in children’s learning, development, and wellness;
  • Identifying core principles of effective family engagement practices from HHS’ and ED’s family engagement frameworks to drive successful policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation;
  • Providing recommendations to States, State educational agencies (SEAs), lead agencies for early intervention services and child care, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and community- based early childhood systems and programs to implement effective family engagement; and
  • Highlighting resources to build programmatic and family capacity to be effective partners.


Collaboration Early Childhood Early Intervention Family Engagement Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources