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Policy Brief: Engaging Families Key to Pre-K Success

Early Learning Indiana releases second “Mile Marker” report

As Indiana expands its state-funded pre-K program, developing active partnerships between families, teachers and programs will be critical to its overall success, a new report from Early Learning Indiana finds.

Mile Markers: Engaging Families in Pre-K”  is the second in a series of in-depth policy briefings examining different challenges and opportunities surrounding Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program. The series supplements Early Learning Indiana’s “On the Road to Pre-K Expansion” report, which was released in June.

“Parents and other caregivers are children’s first and best teachers. Creating authentic partnerships between families, teachers and programs is essential to children’s outcomes,” said report author Kent Mitchell, Early Learning Indiana’s Vice President for Outreach and Partnerships. “We know that no two Hoosier children or families are the same.  As On My Way Pre-K expands in Indiana, we must place a premium on drawing on the unique talents and strengths of Hoosier families to help children learn and develop successfully.”

In addition to researching what other states are doing, the brief defines family engagement and outlines its importance. It also includes 12 policy recommendations including establishing local family advisory councils for On My Way Pre-K programs, policies for effectively transitioning children from pre-K to kindergarten and using developmental screening tools that engage families.

Funded through a grant from the Joyce Foundation, the full issue briefing and additional reports can be viewed here.

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