This paper examines research that can inform policies aimed at building the capacity of early care and education programs to promote parent engagement in linguistically diverse families. The key questions addressed include:1 )What factors affect linguistically diverse families’ access to early care and education programs?; 2)What do we know about linguistically diverse families and how parents in these families support their young children’s learning and development?; 3) What features of early care and education programs appear to contribute to high levels of parent engagement in linguistically diverse families?; and 4) What policies can help increase the capacity of early care and education programs to support parent engagement in linguistically diverse families?
Key Take Away Points
• Linguistically diverse families bring unique strengths to supporting their young children’s development and learning, and also experience challenges.
• Child care and early education programs and systems can incorporate a variety of approaches to improving parent engagement when working with linguistically diverse families.
• A range of policies could enhance the capacity of child care and early education programs to promote parent engagement strategies among linguistically diverse families.
Dr. Sandra Barrueco is an Associate Professor of Psychology at The Catholic University of America, where she directs the Clinical Psychology doctoral program and the Latin American and Latino Studies program. Dr. Barrueco’s expertise centers on assessment, methodological, and intervention approaches for young ethnically- and linguistically-diverse children and families.
Sheila Smith, Ph.D., Director, Early Childhood at National Center for Children in Poverty, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, leads NCCP’s policy and research projects concerned with young children in low-income families. Dr. Smith’s recent projects and publications focus on early childhood mental health, parent engagement, two-generation policies that target young children in deep poverty, and strengthening the quality of early care and education programs. She works with a range of other organizations and state leaders to promote research-informed policies that benefit young children in poverty.
Sam Stephens is Director of the Child Care & Early Education Research Connections project at the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), Columbia University. In addition to his position at NCCP, Dr. Stephens is vice president of the Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD), a nonprofit research and evaluation organization. His primary area of research is early childhood and family support system development and evaluation. Prior to joining CAPD in 1991, Dr. Stephens was senior survey researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, responsible for designing and directing large-scale data collection and evaluation projects. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.
Barrueco, Sandra; Smith, Sheila; and Stephens, Samuel A.
"Supporting Parent Engagement in Linguistically Diverse Families to Promote Young Children’s Life Success,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 7
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol7/iss1/13