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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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In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education invited states to apply for the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge (RTTT–ELC) to help states’ efforts in supporting young children and their families through the development of more unified early learning systems, better information sharing among educators, and an increase in access to quality early learning and development programs. Part of the RTTT–ELC application also encouraged states to focus more resources on family engagement in early childhood. 

To support RTTT–ELC grant recipients’ efforts, Harvard Family Research Project produced this selective list of resources about engaging and supporting families with young children. We hope that this list of journal articles, practical guides, webinars, and presentations will be useful for grant recipients, along with any other states, districts, and local programs interested in expanding their family engagement work.

The RTTT—ELC grant competition marked an extraordinary opportunity for states to focus on expanding their early education work into the family arena through the “engaging and supporting families” selection criterion—one of four selection criteria that states needed to address in the “Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children” Focused Investment Area. The resource list aligns with the three family engagement areas highlighted in the “engaging and supporting families” criterion that states will need to address during implementation and includes two additional areas that we believe are important to programs’ family engagement efforts.

The resources in this guide are organized into sections by topic, as follows:

  • Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge areas:
    • Culturally And Linguistically Appropriate Standards for Family Engagement
    • Training Early Childhood Educators on Family Engagement
    • Promoting Family Support and Engagement Statewide
  • Additional areas:
    • Sharing Data with Families
    • Creating Programs that Engage Families


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