Parent-Child Interactions

Published: June 23, 2008
Topical Summaries

Parents are children’s primary nurturers, educators, and advocates. For this reason, Head Start considers support of the whole child within the important context of their family environment. Head Start parents are empowered to determine the direction of the family’s partnership with Head Start, identifying primary needs and working with Head Start staff to achieve identified goals. In addition to working on family needs, Head Start recognizes that parent involvement is directly related to children’s cognitive and social outcomes, concentrating on encouraging parents to be educational advocates for their children,. The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) found that children with more involved parents scored higher on emergent literacy and math tasks, and also demonstrated more positive social behavior than children whose parents were less involved. This finding suggests that parental involvement in Head Start plays an important role in decreasing the negative outcomes associated with low-income risk factors.

Head Start's 9th National Research Conference