Increasing Parent-Teacher Communication in Private Preschools


  • Patti Bokony University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Leanne Whiteside-Mansell University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Taren Swindle University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Angie Waliski VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D), Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System


parent education, family engagement, early education, parent-teacher communication, parent-teacher relationship


Parent-teacher communication is a first step in increasing family engagement. Private childcare centers have been found to report less frequent parent-child communication than publicly funded early childhood education programs such as Head Start. Using a matched comparison group design, we tested the impact of a two-pronged intervention, the Family Map Inventory for Early Childhood (Family Map; family assessment) and Teaching Important Parenting Skills (TIPS; brief parenting interventions on broad array of topics), on parent-teacher communication in private childcare centers serving low-income families. The intervention included a 4-hour Family Map training and a 6-hour TIPS training aimed at improving parent-teacher communication. Trained teachers conducted Family Map interviews and implemented TIPS for four months.  Results indicated: (1) teachers were willing to implement the Family Map/ TIPS intervention in private child care settings; and (2) the parents and teachers in the intervention group reported higher levels of parent-teacher communication than those in the comparison group.






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