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Social Sci LibreTexts

8: Welcoming and Supporting Families

  • Page ID
    39237
  • Learning Objectives

    • Justify the importance of a welcoming environment.
    • Describe ways to make families feel welcome.
    • Explain how programs can advocate for families.
    • Define the role of community resources.

    Establishing a welcoming environment is an important aspect of fostering family engagement. “A welcoming environment implies that a program has focused efforts on maintaining an atmosphere that is inviting to families and honors their presence” (Constantino 2008, 25). In a welcoming environment, families feel that they belong and seek ways to contribute to the program. They become comfortable with exchanging information with their children’s teachers and open to exploring ways to bring learning activities from the preschool program to home. An essential part of a welcoming environment for families with dual language learners is the program ensuring that they have opportunities to communicate in their home language. Encouraging communication between families with dual language learners who share a home language, hiring staff members (when possible) who are able to communicate in the families’ home language, and providing translations help the families to feel welcome in the preschool setting.