MISSION OF MINNESOTA EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY EDUCATION
The mission of Early Childhood Family Education is to strengthen families through the education and support of all parents* in providing the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children.
GOALS OF MINNESOTA EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY EDUCATION
1. Parent-child relationships support the child’s development in:
- physical well being and motor development,
- social and emotional development,
- approaches to learning (e.g., curiosity, persistence, attentiveness, reflection, interpretation, imagination, invention),
- language development and communication skills, and
- cognition and general knowledge.
2. Parents* understand the importance of what they do with their children and how it changes over time.
3. Parents have the knowledge and realistic expectations to anticipate and meet the developmental needs of their children.
4. Parents demonstrate sensitive and responsive care and interaction with their children.
5. Parents and children experience a smooth transition from early childhood programs and services into kindergarten and the larger school system.
6. Parents are involved in their children’s learning and education in the school-age years.
7. Families participate in formal and informal social networks in their communities that support effective parenting.
8. Families are knowledgeable about and appropriately use community resources.
*The word “parents” includes all individuals who function in a primary parenting role.
ABOUT FAMILIES, PARENTS, YOUNG CHILDREN AND COMMUNITIES FOR MINNESOTA EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY EDUCATION
- The family provides the young child’s first and most significant learning environment. The foundations for healthy child development depend on the relationships and environment created by the family.
- In contemporary America, families have different social, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs.
- The community and society in which families live effect their capacity to raise children. When basic needs are unmet, a family’s ability to raise children is compromised.
- Positive social networks are important to family life.
- Raising young children is challenging.
- Parents need knowledge and skills to effectively raise their children.
- All parents have strengths for raising children.
- Parents of young children, regardless of life circumstance, can benefit from education and support in their role as parents.
- Parents are their children’s first and most important developmental influence.
- Parents and children influence each other, and these influences change over time.
- The quality of the parent-child relationship is crucial to a child’s development.
- The quality of a parent’s self-esteem is strongly related to the quality of a child’s self-esteem.
- If parents are involved in their children’s early education and development, they are more likely to continue their involvement in subsequent years.
ABOUT YOUNG CHILDREN:
- The first five years of a child’s life are important years in their own right and are critical to future physical, intellectual, social and emotional development.
- A secure attachment between parent and child is essential to a child’s optimal development.
- Young children learn by interacting with the people and objects in their environment.
- Play is essential to the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of young children.
- Early identification and treatment of children’s developmental delays and disabilities provide opportunity for such conditions to be addressed.
- Children whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to reach their potential in school.
- Healthy families conserve and contribute to community resources and add to the quality of life for all.
- Child abuse and family violence rates are lower in communities with strong family support.
- Prevention and early intervention are more cost-effective than remediation of negative family outcomes.
- Schools are more effective in educating children when parents are involved.
- Communities have a responsibility to care about all children and families.