10 Ways to Help Parents Participate
1. Create a welcoming environment. Make sure there are places for adults to sit down, Let people know you want them to be there.
2. Make any meeting a two-way exchange of information.
3. Find ways to reflect families' home language and culture in all aspects of your program.
4. Consider family needs. Make it clear that you are including families in decisions that affect their children.
5. Find out if there is a family hierarchy in decision making. The relative who brings the child to your program may not be the one to make the decisions about matters concerning the child. The decision maker may be the father who stays behind the scenes or perhaps a family elder such as the grandmother.
6. Consider creating a parent-education and -support program based on what families need and want.
7. Understand the importance of finding staff and administrators who come from the families' cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.
8. Communicate regularly with families.
9. if you need a translator, find another adult to do it. Try not to use young children to interpret for parents unless the family is fully comfortable with this approach. Even if young children are developing fluent English, they lack the maturity to discuss adult concepts. Keep in mind that an uncomfortable role reversal can occur if the child is in the position of being more capable than the parent.
10. Make it your goal to work toward providing culturally responsive care.