Family Engagement

Center for Family Resources emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher.

  • Our programs build relationships with families that support:

    • Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
    • Families as learners and lifelong educators
    • Family engagement in transitions
    • Family connections to peers and community
    • Families as advocates and leaders

Research has shown that the more parents are involved in their children’s education; the better off their kids will be – emotionally and academically. As parents and families of Center for Family Resources children, there are many ways for you to become involved and stay engaged in the program, which will benefit your child’s education and future.


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Parents join Head Start/Early Head Start center staff in making decisions about the content and operation of the program and how they and their child will participate in it. Parents will more readily participate if the activities are relevant to their needs. Parents’ contributions to the design of the program are necessary for its success.

In addition to this informal decision-making process, there is a formal structure in which parents may participate in policy-making and the operation of the programs. See Program Governance page.

Parents who visit and work in the classroom have a better understanding of what the center is doing for their children and what kind of help they may need at home. Their presence demonstrates to the children that their parents are interested in what they are doing at the center. Classroom participation allows the staff and parents to become better acquainted and to learn from each other.

Parents may participate as volunteers with a reimbursement for expenses such as mileage, childcare, or meals.Qualified parents receive first consideration for employment. As volunteers, parents participate in classroom activities and supplement the services of paid employees. This experience can help parents to develop greater skills and self-confidence, consider a variety of child-rearing techniques, and gain experience that could qualify them for paid employment.

All parents are encouraged to visit the classroom and observe what goes on during the year. In order to best serve the needs of the site, parents who wish to volunteer in the classroom must meet with the teacher to develop a schedule and review responsibilities.

Class Parent:

  • Keep updated phone list
  • Telephone parents when there is a change in school plans, special events, etc.

Parent Substitute Program:

  • Gain skills for working in the classroom
  • Participants who successfully complete the program and complete the 20 volunteer hours become eligible to act as substitutes in the classroom with reimbursement for expenses such as mileage, childcare, and meals.

Parents are respected as adults with interests and aspirations of their own. At the beginning of each year, they develop a plan of activities, which gives them ongoing opportunities to learn share, and grow. These activities include adult education programs. In addition, parents work together on community programs of common concern such as health, education, and housing.

Through home visits by the center staff and suggestions for activities which parents and children can do together, Head Start/Early Head Start guides and assists parents in encouraging their children’s development. This kind of parent participation reinforces and supports the child’s total Head Start experience.

Parents who participate in the education of their children have the reward of knowing they have contributed in a very full way to enriching the lives of their children. In addition to the reward, Center for Family Resources offers incentives for parents to become involved in the program.

  • Meet new people and enjoy yourself: Most parents who volunteer for Head Start really love the time they spend with us. When you volunteer, you may meet other parents who share your interests and you have a good time!

  • Gain valuable work experience: The time you spend volunteering looks great on a resume, and you may learn skills that will enable you to gain employment.

  • Volunteer Recognition Brunch: Parents and others who volunteer over and above are recognized at a yearly luncheon.

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Serving Passiac County since 1980