Parent Engagement from Preschool through Grade 3, A Guide for Policymakers

Taylor Robbins
Tom Rendon
Margaret Bridges, Ph.D.
Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

The BUILD Initiative and the QRIS National Learning Network hosted the seventh webinar in our "Let's Talk" series, Parent Engagement from Preschool through Grade 3, A Guide for Policymakers:

Parent engagement in children’s education is increasingly viewed as an essential support to children’s learning in early care and education programs and throughout the school years. While there are many definitions of “parent engagement,” the term is used here to describe parents’ efforts to promote their children’s healthy development and learning through activities that can be encouraged by educators in child care, preschool and school settings. This report makes the case that effective parent engagement during the span from preschool through the early grades is a key contributor to children’s positive academic outcomes. As states work to engage families in multiple ways through their QRIS systems building work and align efforts through the early schooling, it is important to keep abreast of emerging research to inform and strengthen policy and implementation.

Participants heard one of the authors of this report discuss the research findings and heard how Iowa is incorporating a family engagement strategy within the state. Authors of a family engagement program also discussed their considerations and process for bringing a program to scale in 31 states that is designed for Latino parents of children birth to age 5 and delivered in 10 sessions by trained community educators in school and community settings.

Speaker Biographies:

Taylor Robbins is the Project Coordinator for the Improving the Odds for Young Children Project. She develops NCCP’s Young Child Risk Calculator and Early Childhood State Policy Profiles. Additionally, she performs policy and data analysis for a number of other projects related to early childhood policy including the Early Childhood Mental Health project, as well as Quality Rating Improvement Systems.

Tom Rendon is the coordinator of the Head Start State Collaboration Office at the Iowa Department of Education. He has been active in shepherding a number of statewide initiatives including Early Childhood Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, early literacy (Every Child Reads), and system governance through Iowa’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee. He is an active member of NAEYC and DEC, serving as treasurer for the Iowa AEYC and vice president of the Iowa Subdivision of DEC.

Margaret Bridges, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and senior research scientist at the Institute of Human Development (IHD), University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on how families influence the socio-emotional and early literacy and math skills of preschool-age children, and how preschool teachers and early education further contribute to young children’s outcomes. Much of her work has examined the unique contributions of and challenges facing Latino children and dual-language learners. She completed her Masters and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Virginia.

Edited Recording, Presentation Only:

Web Resource:

Parents as Agents of Change -