About the Family Engagement Project
This new technical assistance will be offered to programs statewide through an application process to receive individualized family engagement plans designed to meet the specific needs of an early care and education program. There is no “one size fits all” model that is effective for all programs. The goal of the Family Engagement Project is for family engagement coaches and early care and education programs to work in collaboration to create individualized plans designed to increase parent engagement, parent awareness, and community partnerships.
What to Expect:
- Highly trained coaches with classroom experience and a goal to partner with early care and education programs to enhance family engagement. Family leadership opportunities! On-Site Training Opportunities!
- Earn a stipend up to $500 and family engagement materials for the home-to-school connection!
- Access to an information monthly newsletter full of resources! Building meaningful partnerships and community resources!
Need more incentive? See what our program partners had to say after one cycle of coaching!
Are you ready to make a real difference? Visit www.children.alabama.gov, click on the tab for Early Childhood Development and Professional Support. To complete an online application: Visit our website listed above and click on the Application Link or contact Jo Lee-Lindstrom (334) 332-4467 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Family Engagement Project is a collaboration between the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
See What People Have to Say
“Since beginning my center’s journey with family engagement and my coach, I have been able to open my eyes to areas that my center was weak in and have the resources provided by her to boost them. They don't come in and tell you that you have been doing things wrong; instead they are full of positive encouragement and great ideas on ways to increase parent relationships. If you can get parents involved, then it makes connecting with the children that much better. I am so glad I started this journey four months ago and can't wait to complete it and begin a new one.”
Hollee, Peachtree Academy
“The Family Engagement Project is a valuable resource for early childhood programs. Meeting once a month fits easily into an administrator’s schedule. The Coach is extremely knowledgeable in early childhood and shares the information in a way that is relatable to our program. Having a coach that is friendly, helpful, and understanding has made this experience extremely easy.”
Sara, First Presbyterian Preschool
“The project has enabled us to share more informative resources that could help our parents. The parents are more knowledgeable of things that may help their child and family. The coach also helped us provide agencies and contact information that are out there to help in times of crisis and need. The parent survey gave us more insight into our families’ personal thoughts about the program, as well as their hobbies and interests. The parents are willing to form a committee to help with different interests and events going on in the class. They were so excited about helping in planning and participating in the class ‘Valentine’s Etiquette Ball’ that took place on Feb. 14th. The children, parents, and grandparents thought it was so much fun. Thanks for the Family Engagement Project!”
Dorothy, MLK First Class Pre-K
“Lil Kidz Dayschool Inc. has greatly benefited from the Family Engagement Project along with the parents. The parent resource area is a great improvement to our center; it has helped to engage the parents and empowered the staff with knowledge we did not have before. The parent survey and committees that were formed have helped us get in touch with the value of the parents’ satisfaction of our childcare center and staff. The flexibility that my coach has with making appointments to work with my schedule and her understanding and knowledge is commendable. Thank you for including Lil Kidz Dayschool in this program.”
Jackaline, Lil Kidz Dayschool Inc.
“Prior to the Family Engagement Project, I would have never known the importance of having a written family plan. This project has encouraged me to form a parent committee and to promote the importance of having a primary physician for young children. After finishing this project, I am motivated to encourage our parents to use the resources in our parent lending library.”
Lorren, Hightown Academy
If you have any questions, please contact Jo Lee-Lindstrom, Administrative Assistant at email@example.com 334-322-4467.
FAQs for Family Engagement and Challenging Behaviors
The level of family engagement will depend on the program and its level of commitment to the project. Each program will walk through 7 measures of family engagement. These measures cover a wide spectrum of family engagement components. Programs will be evaluated to determine if they meet, excel, or exceed in each of the criteria. A program that meets the measures will look very different from a program which exceeds. The guidelines link parents to resources but also give them the opportunity to impact decisions made at the early care and education centers. The stipend awarded will be based on performance.
The goal is to build a systematic plan for family engagement. The focus will be on shifting from parents being consumers to parents as partners. For some centers this will be a hard transition. The Family Engagement coach will walk the director through the process of building this system. The plans will look different in each center. The intention is to create a project that would work in many different situations. For example, parents could be given surveys and those surveys would be used to make programmatic decisions. Parents would also receive specific information regarding the program, resources in the area, and health and wellness information.
The Devereux system is a strength-based approach that emphasizes resilience in adults and children. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from negative experiences. It consists of three protective factors: self-regulation, initiative, and attachment/relationships. This is true for adults as well as children. Adults must be resilient to support resiliency in children. In other words, you can’t pour from an empty bucket. Parents will learn how to support the protective factors in their children and learn to build their own resilience. Children will learn the protective factors through activities and games. For example, playing the game ‘Simon Says’ teaches impulse control or self-regulation. Many children don’t play this game any longer, but playing it builds one of the protective factors. Technology and busy schedules move families away from traditional games and activities that often taught good skills - without us even realizing it! Today, many children miss some of those experiences.
Unfortunately, no. Funding streams play a part here, so a program that receives Head Start or Early Head Start funding could not participate in either project. Programs with First Class Pre-K Classrooms can only participate in the Family Engagement project if they are not housed in a public school. Programs that are STAR-rated, or in the process of becoming STAR rated, may not participate in Family Engagement project but may participate in Challenging Behaviors (ASSIST).
This is the first year of the initiatives. Spaces will be limited, and selection will be tough. However, we encourage programs to apply and reapply. The hope is that these projects will grow next year, and more spaces will be available. Programs will be chosen based on the information provided in their application. All programs will be notified if accepted or denied. Denial letters will state the reason and next steps.
Location to services will be important and we want to spread these centers out as much as possible. Again, programs can apply each cycle.
The hope is that we will have a newsletter and professional development options. Also, the coach will always be an email away if questions arise. We do not want to say “cut-off” because our goal is to build systems and relationships.
Each project has a stipend ranging from $50-$500.
Programs cannot participate simultaneously in both projects. However, a program can participate in the Family Engagement project in one cycle, and then apply for the Challenging Behavior (ASSIST) for 0-3 years for a different cycle. Family home centers are not currently eligible to participate in The Family Engagement Project.
Both projects will be assessed, qualitatively, and quantitatively. Directors will be informed of all assessments.
The Department of Human Resources (DHR) houses the Child Development Block Grant, and with this, the responsibility to provide high quality services to early care and education programs statewide. DHR is funding these projects through the CCDF (Child Care and Development Fund) Block Grant. ADECE is collaborating through workforce additions and professional development opportunities to support the scope of the grant.