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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Statistics for Anytime Learning

Dear FINE Members,

Time—how children spend it, and with whom—has important implications for social-emotional and cognitive development. 

In this issue, we look at how children’s time is and can be spent learning across the day during the early childhood and elementary years. Addressing the more than 50 percent of families who wish that they knew how to improve the time that they spend with their children, and providing resources for the teachers, staff, and developers who support families, we 

  • check in with a national nonprofit—ZERO TO THREE—about an app that they developed to help families support their child’s learning during daily routines and downtime;
  • revisit the efforts of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to help families identify learning opportunities that begin when the school day ends;
  • look at how one Head Start program in New York City regularly shares data with families as a way to build family confidence and inspire engagement throughout the school years; and
  • explore the state of Maryland’s approach to building a comprehensive family-engagement infrastructure across the years and places that children spend in early care and education.

We thank you for reading, as always, and invite you to pass this issue on to interested friends and colleagues. We also hope you’ll send us any comments that you might have!

With best wishes,
Harvard Family Research Project FINE Team


Finding Time Together: Families, Schools, and Communities Supporting Anywhere, Anytime Learning

Finding Time Together: Families, Schools, and Communities Supporting Anywhere, Anytime Learning
How do families spend time supporting their children’s informal and formal learning beyond the school day and across settings? Find out how educators and institutions are helping families promote their children’s learning experiences anytime, in school and beyond.

Voices From the Field

Let's Play Zero to Three icon

Q & A with Rebecca Parlakian: Learn Anytime With the Let's Play App
How can you turn daily bedtime and mealtime routines into learning opportunities for young children? How can commuting, shopping, and other everyday activities offer vibrant learning moments for children? Read about the Let’s Play app to learn how!
Photo of Christine Patton The Transition to Afterschool: One City’s Approach to Connecting Young Children and Their Families to Learning and Enrichment Opportunities—Part Two
How can you create a resource to help families of young children successfully transition to afterschool? What questions should be addressed? This video looks at one city’s approach to helping connect families and their young children to afterschool enrichment opportunities.
photo of Nell Shapiro Sharing Assessment Data With Preschool Families in Preparation for Kindergarten
What are the benefits and challenges of sharing assessment data with preschool families? How can you do so effectively? A preschool teacher writes about her experiences, and provides valuable tips on how to share data with families in preparation for kindergarten.

HFRP Research & Resources

Racing to the Top: Maryland's Promising Practices in Family Engagement

Racing to the Top: Maryland's Promising Practices in Family Engagement
Maryland is embedding a new family engagement definition statewide as a foundation of policy and infrastructure. Through comprehensive partnerships, the state brings to scale family engagement approaches and launches new initiatives.

Family Involvement News

Harvard Family Research Project's Family Engagement News

Family Involvement News: September 2014
How can “two-generation” programs help parents influence children’s development? What five ongoing family activities can help children’s literacy development? What project will explore the effectiveness of new reading technology used by early education and parenting initiatives? Read to find out!

HFRP Interact

HFRP Interact logo

How Families, Schools, and Communities Are Reshaping Family Engagement to Reach All Learners
This web conference on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST, explores family engagement in anywhere, anytime learning and ways that families, schools, and community organizations can share responsibility for children's learning around the clock.

1 National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Average number of hours in the school day and average number of days in the school year for public schools, by state: 2007–08. Schools and Staffing Survey. Retrieved from
2 Early, D. M., Iruka, I. U., Ritchie, S., Barbarin, O. A., Winn, D. M. C., Crawford, G. M.,…Pianta, R. C. (2010). How do pre-kindergarteners spend their time? Gender, ethnicity, and income as predictors of experiences in pre-kindergarten classrooms. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 177–193.
3 National Center for Families Learning. (2014). National family learning report. Retrieved from

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project