Module 4: Family-Professional Partnerships

Learning Objectives

  • Describe effective practices for developing trusting family-professional partnerships in early care and education programs.
  • Use a decision-making process to select partnership-oriented practices linked to (a) developing an initial friendly relationship, (b) making shared decisions, and (c) developing a trusting partnership with families to address challenging issues.


Instructor Dashboard

Click on a step from the 5-Step Learning Cycle to view the description.

In Step 1, learners watch videos portraying the real world dilemma of how a father and teacher work together to develop a trusting partnership. Learners are asked to describe the dilemma in an activity following the videos.

In Step 2, learners use a tool called PICO to turn the dilemma  in Step 1 into an answerable question. The activity helps learners create a focused question that is answerable through research.

In Step 3, learners are presented with relevant sources of general evidence to consider in answering the question they posed in Step 2. Partnership-oriented Practices include enhanced communication, high expectations, respect, commitment, equality, and advocacy and encompass both a child focus and family focus. Handouts of evidence are provided on research and policies related to family-professional partnerships. Learners listen to audio clips of families and a practitioner sharing experience-based knowledge on building trusting partnerships. Activities for learners to check their knowledge are provided throughout this Step.

In Step 4, learners listen to audio perspectives of those involved in the dilemma to gain an understanding of their contexts. In an activity, they integrate the general evidence from Step 3 with perspectives and contexts unique to the dilemma in Step 1 to make an informed decision. Finally, learners are introduced to planning and implementation. Learners are asked to complete an  Implementation Plan to develop a trusting partnership with the father.

In Step 5, learners consider ways to evaluate the decision to use the practice. Learners determine:

  • if the intervention was implemented, and
  • if the intervention was effective. 

Handouts are provided showing sample assessment methods.