Engaging Families

2.    Engage the family in collaborative transition planning:

  • Receiving practitioners conduct a home visit before the child enters the new setting to build rapport with the child and family, gather information, and discuss general classroom structure, activities, and routines.

Home visits provide a comfortable and effective way for teachers to gather information about child and family needs.
Initial home visits with the child and family should focus on the following:

  • building a relationship with the child and family,

  • describing the program to the family,

  • determining what the family’s worries and concerns are about the transition, and

  • determining with the family what activities will support them in preparing their child for that first day in the new setting.

Home visits after the transition can be effective in allowing teachers an opportunity to “check-in” with the family to ensure their needs are being met in the new program.

  • Practitioners ensure that meetings address the unique needs of the family to support their participation.
    • The strengths and needs of the family should be considered when identifying specific activities and supports as part of the transition planning processes.
    • Meetings should be held at times and locations that are accessible to the family.
    • Transition information should be provided to the family in their home language.
    • Specific follow-up and contact information should always be provided so family members know who to contact if they have questions or concerns about the transition process.

Watch the video and identify ways the teacher begins to build a relationship with a child and their family during a home visit.

Video 2.3: Highlights of a home visit

A home visit by a receiving teacher before the child starts preschool to build rapport, gather information and share information about what the first day of school will be like. (running time: 3 min. 03 sec.)

Supplemental Materials

Tutorials on using Handout 2.3: Home Visit Planning Form and Handout 2.5: Follow Up Home Visit Sheet are available below.