Family Engagement

Families play the most critical role in preparing children for school, as indicated in the Head Start Parent and Family Engagement research. 

Engaging families pave the way for school readiness and children’s later academic success. Research also shows that children’s healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development is supported when families encourage and engage children. Family engagement promotes the success of young children regardless of their ethnic background or socioeconomic status.

As part of a statewide effort, Maryland’s early childhood community strengthens family engagement in early care and educational settings. This commitment extends into the child’s home environment by linking families to services, building peer networks, and increasing understanding of child development and parenting practices. This process is about the early childhood community engaging with parents and families so they have the tools to be more fully and productively engaged with their young children.

To help all of Maryland’s young children get a productive start in their education, Maryland is already promoting family engagement and providing resources to strengthen families. For more information, please visit the Maryland Families Engage website, which was designed to help build a community of support for those who care for and work with young children. 

The database of resources contains links to child development, family engagement initiatives, news, events, research, and more. You can sort these resources by topics and locations and share your findings with families, educators, friends, or colleagues.

Sometimes a child's behavior can get in the way of building a good relationship with a child care provider, and families need a little help. Maryland's Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Consultation Project improves the ability of staff, programs, parents, and families to prevent, identify, treat, and reduce the impact of social, emotional, and other mental health problems among children birth through 5 years old.

What Are the Goals of Family Engagement?

Maryland’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework is designed to be a guide for programs and providers to increase the availability and quality of family engagement for all families with young children in Maryland. To download the Framework, please click here.

ICYMI: The annual Maryland Family Engagement Summit brings parents, providers, teachers, program coordinators, and other stakeholders together to learn new early learning initiatives, share best practices, and build community partnerships. Presentations and videos from the Summit are available here.