Setting Goals after Conducting a Family Interview

Making Parent Gauge Data Actionable

Parent Gauge brings a unique quantitative perspective when it comes to measuring family engagement in your Head Start center. However, Parent Gauge is far from just a quantitative tool. Since “using Parent Gauge” means conducting guided interviews with parents, using the tool is a family engagement activity in and of itself.

Staff spend 20–30 minutes talking with families to understand their strengths and needs and how the program is responding to those. At the end of the conversation, staff come away with critical, qualitative information that they can act on immediately.

In order to maximize the benefit of the Parent Gauge interviews, we recommend staffers ask themselves three questions after each interview:

  1. What did I learn about the family from this interview?
  2. What specific actions do I need to take as a result?
  3. Who else do I need to connect with (to share information or prompt to take action) as a result of this interview?

These questions should only take an extra minute for staff to ask themselves at the end of the interview, but should have immeasurable benefits. They force staff to pause for just a moment to digest what was learned from the family engagement conversation and identify specific action steps. With so much on everyone’s plate in Head Start, intentionality and action are critical.

So, if you’re using Parent Gauge in your program, make sure to bring these three questions to your next staff meeting. Encourage all of your colleagues to ask themselves these three questions at the end of each parent interview, and watch how much Parent Gauge can help you improve parent engagement in your centers.