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A Stronger Foundation: BRCA + The Vital Role of Parent and Family Engagement

Donuts with Dad Event, QMG 12/2022

Love and Literacy Event at Northside, 2/2023

Parent and family engagement is a critical component of a child's development. Research has shown that when parents and families are involved in their child's education, their child is more likely to succeed in school and in life. Blue Ridge Community Action has made concentrated efforts in recent years to engage and educate parents, families, guardians, and grandparents of children enrolled in the agency's childcare programs through a variety of different methods. Getting fathers and male role models involved with their child's education has also been a focus of the agency's efforts as well.

Parent and family engagement plays a crucial role in early childhood development. Children who receive positive parenting and family engagement in their early years have been shown to develop better language and cognitive skills, as well as social and emotional skills. Studies have also shown that children who receive this kind of support in their early years are more likely to succeed academically later in life. Involved family units have been shown to have a direct impact on a child's academic outcomes. When parents and families are involved in their child's education, they can help their child develop strong study habits, provide academic support, and encourage their child to set and achieve academic goals. This support has been linked to improved academic outcomes, such as higher grades, better attendance, and increased motivation to learn.

Love & Literacy Parent Engagement Event at QMG, 2/2023

Getting caretakers involved in the early childhood education process is also critical for a child's social and emotional development. When parents and families are actively involved in their child's life, they can help to foster a positive sense of self-worth and self-esteem in their child. This kind of support can help to prevent behavioral problems and improve a child's social skills, leading to positive relationships and a sense of belonging in the world. The involvement of parents, guardians, siblings, grandparents, and other familial role models can also lead to stronger family relationships. When parents, guardians, and/or families are actively involved in their child's life, they develop a stronger connection with their child. This connection can help to build trust, increase communication, and promote positive interactions between family members. Strong family relationships have been linked to improved mental health outcomes and increased resilience in children. Teaching skills like resilience and self-sufficiency to younger children can help build coping skills to overcome adversity throughout the course of their lives. The Center for American Progress estimates that one in four American children experience an Adverse Childhood Event (or ACE) by the time they are three years old. Teaching children to overcome adversity can be one of the changing forces in their lives to break generational traumas and to become self-sufficient, functional, productive members of society as a whole.

ACES and ECE, Center for American Progress

Finally, parent and family engagement can help to set children up for long-term success. When children receive positive support and engagement from their parents and families in their early years, they are more likely to develop positive attitudes towards education, which can lead to success in school and beyond. This kind of support can help to increase a child's chances of graduating from high school, attending college, and pursuing a fulfilling career. The mission of Blue Ridge Community Action is "Helping People. Changing Lives.", and this initiative is right on par with assisting the betterment of people's lives in the areas that our agency serves.

In conclusion, parent and family engagement is crucial for the development and success of young children. It has been shown to improve early childhood development, academic outcomes, social and emotional development, family relationships, and long-term success. By actively engaging with their child's education and development, parents and families can help their child to reach their full potential and succeed in life. BRCA looks forward to incorporating these teachings in the Early Childhood Education department of the agency. If you are interested in Head Start, Early Head Start, or Child Care, please contact Blue Ridge Community Action in Morganton at 828-438-6255.

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