A Head start is a federal program that provides a comprehensive early childhood education, parent involvement, nutrition and health services to low-income children, as well as their families. The program is intended to prepare children for school for success by use of an early learning program. Head Start promotes the child’s readiness for school as early as age five for low-income families through enhancement of their social, cognitive, emotional and social development. The program offers a learning environment that allows children’s growth in areas, such as literacy, language, emotional and social development. This paper explores the benefits of involving parents as teachers in the Head Start because they are the most important element in their children’s growth. Most importantly, the program aims at building parent-child relationships and support the well-being of the family to facilitate the success of the child’s education. Head start has three key emphases of parent-child interaction, family well-being, and development-centered parenting.
Research shows evidence that family involvement is vital to children in attaining educational success. When the program at acknowledges the importance of children’s cultures and home, they promote family involvement. In that case, they enable the Head Start to establish a supportive environment that allows a learning that empowers and engage families in meaningful activities. The school programs become more diverse because home and culture relevance expand teacher responsibilities as well as their collaboration with families. Head Start programs acknowledge that feelings and dispositions regarding learning and the school begin at home (Couchenour & Chrisman, 2014). Parents act as teachers in the early Head Start model, and the relationship is parent-focused approach prepares the child for school readiness. Therefore, the development of values, attitudes, and habits calls for a partnership between the child, educator, families and the program.
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The involvement of families in the program is crucial, especially following the thought that today most parents face difficult issues while raising children. The Head start has a major benefit to families because it allows them to experience an increase in confidence while participating in their child’s educational program. The parents feel valued and view themselves as having the ability to help educators and overall help their children in their education. Having such confidence is bound to raise the levels of family involvement in their children’s educations and as a result the success of the child in school (Couchenour & Chrisman, 2014). The additional benefits of family involvement in such a program are the increase in the parent number pursuing additional education. Through Head Start programs, most parents have progressed through workshops and training sessions.
The Head Start Office launched a Fatherhood Initiative in response to Clinton’s Administration on a wide-initiative to strengthen fathers’ roles in families. In essence, parent involvement is crucial to the Early Head start since it encourages fathers to participate in various aspects of the program. In fact, fathers, who are encouraged to participate in the program become effective in getting positive outcomes for their children (Higher Horizons, 2015). When parents give teachers high ratings, they increase their morale. The teacher feels valued because the school has a culture of positive energy and thinking. In the end, the teacher will have a positive outlook on the children, thus enhancing learning in a good environment.
Some instances, the kind of assistance, as well as support that families offer to the program, brings in positive results. The extra pair of hand, a resource from a parent and any other support to help them in gaining influence on the quality of opportunities offered to their children. In due course, the students in these schools get higher achievements. Notably, such schools receive better reputations and statuses in the community. Children attending such institutions engage in numerous educational activities. Besides, they receive healthy snacks and, free health care and enjoy playing outdoors and indoors in a safe setting. Local nonprofit organizations manage the program in almost every county. Parents work or volunteer in the Head Start programs and the process learns about their children as well as other kids (Higher Horizons, 2015). Most often, communities care about the schools and education they provide for their children. Naturally, the schools that acquire high achievement are supported and valued by the community members.
In conclusion, research on family involvement proves that there are numerous benefits when the Head Start programs involve parents. Early childhood educators continue to encourage parent and family involvement. The starting point of these programs is to understand families and the communities they are working within. It will enable them to understand the tenets of successful family involvement. The approach recognizes that families are the Child’s first teacher, and are, therefore, valued for their care and support.
- Couchenour, D. L., & Chrisman, K. (2014). Families, schools, and communities: Together for young children. Belmont: Wadsworth, CENGAGE Learning,
- Higher Horizons (2015). Fatherhood in Head Start & Early Head Start.