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The Partner Project
Shana A. Pyle, Project Manager
The University of Toledo
Gillham Hall 4000B, MS 954

2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606

Ph: 419.530.5292
Fax: 419.530.2700

Communicating Effectively with Children and Families

It is important that early childhood teachers are able to communicate effectively with children and families. In inclusive settings it is especially important for teachers to be able to develop partnerships with parents so that both parties can develop an understanding of how to best address the individual child’s developmental skills within natural settings.

The National Center on Inclusion (NTCI)
The National Center on Inclusion(NTCI) project, Kids Included Together (KIT) specializes in providing best practices training for community–based organizations committed to including children with and without disabilities into their recreational, child development and youth development programs. KIT offers many resources, including instructional videos.

In the following video clip KIT trainers discuss and model skills related to communicating effectively with families.

In the following video clip KIT trainers discuss and model skills related to communicating expectations to students.

In the following video clip KIT trainers discuss and model how to use gestures and objects in order to communicate effectively with children with disabilities.

In the following video clip KIT trainers discuss and model how to use your voice in order to communicate effectively with children with disabilities.

Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC)
The Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) outlines strategies to guide teachers in effective ways to communicate with parents and caregivers about children.

The center also provides strategies to help teacher support families.

Zero to Three
Zero to Three, the national center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families outlines three key steps to effective communication with families.

Sharing Concerns
The following essay from First Steps, provides some strategies for sharing concerns with parents about their child’s development. https://www.firstsigns.org/concerns/parent_parent.htm

The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities
The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) is a statewide, nonprofit organization that serves families of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities in Ohio, and agencies who provide services to them. OCECD works through the coalition efforts of over 40 parent and professional disability organizations which comprise the Coalition.  The OCECD’s programs help parents become informed and effective representatives for their children in all educational settings. http://www.ocecd.org/index.php

Evaluation of a Family-Centered Early Childhood Special Education Preservice Model by Program Graduates by Mary Murray and Colleen Mandell
This qualitative study evaluated the impact on program graduates of two personnel preparation projects founded on a family-centered preservice model and funded by the Office of Special Education Programs. Study findings indicated that family involvement in content-based and field-based coursework positively affected the use of family centered practices. PDF

Blogging as a Way to Promote Family-Professional Partnerships
This article describes how to use blogging as a way to promote communication with families.

Listening for Details of Talk: Early Childhood Parent-Teacher Conference Communication Facilitators
In this article, the authors illustrate common communication patterns and provide links to some of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children’s recommended practices for communicating and collaborating with parents.

CLASP Toolkit for Planning Home Visiting Partnerships
CLASP's toolkit, Home Away From Home: A Toolkit for Planning Home Visiting Partnerships with Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers, offers help in exploring partnerships between home visitors and caregivers.  PDF

Community Mapping in Action: Uncovering Resources and Assets for Young Children and Their Families
This article describes the process of community action and how it can be used to gather resources for families with young children. PDF

Home-School Collaboration for Embedding Individualized Goals in Daily Routines
This article describes how collaborative planning using an activity based approach to intervention can be used to help teachers and parents work together on shared goals within natural environments. PDF

Fostering Parent and Professional Collaboration: Research Brief
This article summarizes historical trends in parent-professional collaboration, describes some potential barriers to collaboration, and provides practical strategies for collaboration. PDF

Last Updated: 6/9/16