You may have heard the terms “parental involvement” and “parental engagement” before—and although you may have a grasp of what each of these concepts includes, the two offer subtle distinctions between you and your child’s school or education program.
At One Place, all of our programs serve to promote parental engagement, including Early Head Start, Three School, NC Pre-K, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. All parents and caregivers are provided meaningful opportunities to be engaged with a child’s education.
As a general rule, any kind of family interaction with the school or program leads to positive outcomes—but when comparing the two possibilities, the benefits of parental engagement outweigh parental involvement.
What parental involvement looks like: Parents take part in activities and requirements previously determined by the school or program. In most situations, parents simply do what is asked of them—while the school or the early childhood educators set goals and drive the outcomes.
What parental engagement looks like: Parents take on an active and collaborative role, becoming part of the decision-making process. This can involve partnering closely with the school or program to make choices and develop activities in the best interest of their children.
Parent engagement is the goal for most schools and early childhood educators. When a program embodies these goals, it is a two-way street: Schools listen to parents and strive for collaborative and impactful conversations.
These relationships—built on listening and shared decision-making—typically produce a number of benefits for students. One study discovered that parental engagement led to higher grade point averages, better attendance, improved social skills, improved behavior, and higher enrollment in more challenging courses.
North Carolina Pre-K Programs
North Carolina Pre-K programs collaborate with One Place to provide meaningful interactions between families and educators.
Early Head Start Programs
Early Head Start promotes parental engagement through each child’s individual educational experience and a family’s overall involvement with the EHS program.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
For children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, parents are encouraged to facilitate further learning through videos, activity sheets, and reading tips. One of the best ways to promote healthy literacy development is to read with your child. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library parental resources are available here.
One Place offers multiple early childhood education programs, including: