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Mel Gravely

Relationship-Based Competencies: Family Well-Being and Families as Learners

head start family well beingThis is the third blog post in our series about the 9 Relationship-based Competencies: Family Well-Being and Families as Learners.

As educators, we are continuously learning new information as we advance in our careers and lives. It’s the same for families. Looking after the well-being of the families we serve, and guiding them in the direction of being lifelong learners and teachers, is another important part of building solid relationships with our Head Start and Early Head Start families.  We want to get them excited about the learning process, which will in turn help them with creating life goals and fulfilling their aspirations.

Some ideas include:

  • Provide them with information on the various types of resources available to them.
  • Educate them on health, safety, and financial stability, including topics such as dental care, yearly checkups, eating healthy, and budgeting.
  • Facilitate training and social events around important topics.
  • Have local community agencies come in and share what services they offer to families.

In the classroom we go over many of these topics with the children enrolled in our programs, but it’s information that can benefit the entire family. Having children, parents and family members exposed to the same information assists families to continue to be life long learners and parents lifelong educators for their children.

The journey to self-sufficiency requires preparing families throughout the entire time they are enrolled in Head Start. Many times you may still have some families that will reach out after they have moved on to public school, to acquire information, guidance and support. That’s okay too. At least they know now that there are places they can turn to get the information and access to services they need. In learning these strategies, they become advocates for their child and family for a lifetime.


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