Strategic Plan

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Strategy 3.2

Build a culture throughout the early childhood care and education system that respects and strengthens family voice.

3.2.1   Respond to the cultural, ethnic, racial, language, and socioeconomic characteristics and preferences of families to create equitable family engagement opportunities at the state level.
State agency led tactic.

3.2.2   Promote the Kansas Family Engagement and Partnership Standards for Early Childhood as a framework in developing family-friendly programs, policies, and practices. Provide training on how to implement the standards in a variety of early childhood care and education settings, including family child care, so that programs can complete self-assessments, collect data on family engagement, and use data to inform action.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

3.2.3   Use family engagement initiatives such as the Kansas Family Advisory Team, Parent Leadership Advisory Council, Head Start Policy Councils and Parent Committees, and the annual Parent Leadership Conference to strengthen family voices in leadership, including but not limited to gaining insights into child development and the family’s role in supporting development and learning, reviewing proposed policies, and informing programs.
State agency led tactic.Local individual or small group champions.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

3.2.4   Identify and replicate effective family engagement strategies from across Kansas, including compensation for families, engaging family representatives as members of statewide task forces and advisory boards, and as participants in the planning, development, delivery, and evaluation of programs.
State agency led tactic.Local individual or small group champions.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

Progress Update

The Family Advisory Council led by KDHE is forming new workgroups and expanding membership throughout 2021. The Family Leadership Team, comprised of family leaders and representatives from KDHE, KSDE, DCF and the Children’s Cabinet, began work this summer to implement a coordinated statewide family engagement strategy guide for early childhood, including a family partnership toolkit. The newly-formed Kansas Family First Family Council is beginning work Summer 2021. Community partners including the Kansas Children’s Service League host several family engagement opportunities, including parent cafes, support groups and the Parent Leadership Conference. The Early Childhood Recommendations Panel is also convening a Family Partnership workgroup Summer 2021. Family engagement is also an element of many PDG Quality Subgrants, including the development of interactive early childhood modules to be completed in 2021. 

There are many opportunities to increase information sharing and alignment across the early childhood system to ensure family voice is included, and to learn more about effective methods for engaging families at the state and local levels.