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Family Engagement Basics

On-Demand • Online • 4 PD Hours

Learn how to engage with families in positive ways and develop meaningful relationships, no matter what your role is at Head Start. Strong partnerships with caregivers are the key to helping children develop, grow, and thrive!

Head Start programs are committed to supporting not just the children they teach, but their parents and families, too. No matter what your role, you have the ability to influence and increase family engagement. With the right tools, every staff member at your Head Start center can build positive and healthy relationships with children and families! This course dives into the Office of Head Start’s rich Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.

Learners will understand the key role family culture and communication play in healthy child development and learn practical strategies to implement right away to develop and maintain strong parent relationships. Throughout the course, learners will also learn how family engagement connects to the Head Start Program Performance Standards through lessons, activities, and knowledge check questions.

  • Start Date: On-Demand
  • Course Level: None
  • Requirements/Prerequisites: None
  • Completion Timeline: One Month
  • Head Start Alignment: This course supports programs in meeting the 1302.50 Family engagement requirement of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) in which “a program must integrate parent and family engagement strategies into all systems and program services to support family well-being and promote children’s learning and development.”

Module Topics: 

  1. Shaping Child Development through Relationships
  2. Culture and Perspective
  3. Understanding Children’s Behavior as Communication
  4. Collecting and Communicating Data

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how strength-based attitudes and positive, goal-oriented relationships impact family and community members.
  • Comprehend the ways in which culture and influence affect your parents’ understanding and relationship to the world.
  • Identify the importance of behavior and how to address the need from which the behavior stems.
  • Understand the Ongoing Child Assessment cycle and its purpose.

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Download the Syllabus 


4 Hours of Course Material

Online, Self-Paced Content

Months of Access to Course

Video Content
Discussion Forums
Digital Badge
Certificate of Completion with PD Hours
24/7 Access to Transcript

Course Author



With nearly 50 years of experience, research, and advocacy work, The Academy Team at NHSA has used the highest standards to create this course to support the professional growth and development of Head Start and Early Head Start staff and leadership across the country.

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