Families are Children's Primary Educators
All families should be recognized as their children’s primary educators, and supported in the important and exhausting work of raising young children. Child caregivers are in positions to play an essential role providing this support. Child care has been called “the new extended family” (Galinsky & Hooks, 1977) since modern families often depend on their children’s providers for help and advice on parenting.
Diversity includes differences in family make-up, culture, income, race, religion, abilities, resources, and school involvement. The word “families” will be used in place of “parents” to be more inclusive of the variety of primary caregivers, such as grandparents, step-parents, aunts or uncles, and others.
Community resources are services available to the public to help them meet their needs, become self-reliant, and increase well-being. Child care providers help by identifying and connecting families to appropriate community resources when needed. Supporting children means supporting families.
Nurturing child care providers will try to strengthen family relationships by creating collaborative partnerships based on respect and trust. This module is intended to help providers build positive relationships with families and work with community resources to best meet young children’s needs.