Communicating with EEE’s: Building Relationships with Families

What is the most important thing that you want families in your program to know? Your answer indicates how the staff and program interact with and support families during their time in Head Start. Finding the most effective and comfortable way to build relationships with families and to partner with them for success is important in a program’s planning process. Think about these suggestions to create an “EEE”asy course of action for your group!

Empathize: Finding the right approach for effective work with families starts with an ability to extend empathy… to understand where they are and what their strengths and needs might be. Listen carefully and choose the kindest way to provide information. Partner with families to reach a goal. Both are examples of dealing empathetically with families.

Encourage: To encourage means to “walk along side of” and that is exactly how we want to approach our work with families. Take the time to extend assurance, to work together to create solutions and to offer support in a patient and helpful way that will lead to meaningful connections.

Empower: Creating capacity is a key component to empowering families and setting them up for success after their time in Head Start. Recognize the importance of their role as their child’s first teacher. Build partnerships as they enter the educational process. And assist as families grow in their ability to advocate for their children.  These actions will produce results which empower Head Start families toward success.

Each of these areas is correlated to the Parent/Family/Community Engagement Framework. Essential Elements offers training to build your Family Service Workers’ capacity and to create a strong and practical plan for an effective parent engagement strategy based on positive relationships.  Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at to schedule this training for your staff.

Essential Elements of Learning

Did you know that your classroom is the third teacher? Your learning environment profoundly impacts skill-building, both socially and academically. Time is our greatest commodity. Therefore, as early childhood educators, we must make the most of our daily schedule (and our space) to increase children’s learning and impulse control.

The essential elements of learning involve intentional interactions that are developed through structure and a nurturing environment. If you want to improve either of these components in the classroom, but you don’t know where to begin, here are some great ways to get started.

  • Build on interests – Children’s interests are aroused when new learning is relevant to their lives and integrated across activities and content areas.
  • Respond to signals – Children’s feelings and attitudes are responded to throughout the day to build a sense of trust between the children and teacher and to increase connections as a school community.
  • Secure the Environment – Children will try new experiences more readily when working in a structured and safe environment where they are allowed to explore freely.
  • Support and Challenge – As children become more independent and self-regulating, the teacher changes interactions to scaffold students to a higher level of learning.

To receive training for Teachers on creating a classroom environment that supports effective learning, please give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at