Chapter 3 – How parents can integrate into kindergarten community

Role of parents on children success

Parent engagement is now seen as an important component of program success in early learning. Parent and family engagement is building relationship with families that support family well-being, strong relationships between parents and their children and ongoing learning and development for both parents and children.

Parents from culturally diverse backgrounds should be encouraged to join parent organizations and share their cultural points of view.

USA has a long history of immigrants and their integration into society. One major finding of MPI´s research has been that foundational skills provided by basic literacy, adult ESL (English as second language) programs and cultural and system´s knowledge training are crucial supports for immigrant parents seeking o access parent engagement programs on an equal footing with their peers.  Language is almost insurmountable barrier to many immigrant and refugee parents.

For children success in early years in US programs addressing parent´s skills and involvement are important. Parents are child first and most important teachers. Socioeconomic differences lead to varying child experiences that can cause large gap in cognitive and language development at a very early stage. Longitudinal data demonstrated an achievement gap between many immigrant groups and their native peers that begins even prior to kindergarten enrolment. (Immigrant parents and early childhood programs, pg.12-14)

Role of community-based organizations

They serve immigrants as a way of reaching immigrant families through a trusted mediator. With their strong community ties, they inform immigrant families about available services and public benefits, and can easily add information about prekindergarten to their message.