Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Engaging Culturally Diverse Families

Office of Head Start - Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

The Office of Head Start's Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) provides a variety of resources related to supporting the cultural diversity of families enrolled in early childhood programs. Some of the resources include:

NAEYC - For Families

The National Association for the Education of Young Children's Engaging Diverse Families Project has developed six principles of effective family engagement based on an extensive review of the research. Also, from NAEYC, see:

PACER Center - Working with Culturally Diverse Families

The PACER Center's Minnesota School and Family Connection project has compiled and developed training tools and resources for families and educators working with culturally diverse families. This page includes links to videos, research literature, practice guides, training tools, and more. Many of the resources for families are translated into Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

The National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)

NCCC works to advance and sustain cultural and linguistic competency within systems and organizations. A number of NCCC resources are specfically of interest to personnel working with young children with disabilities and their families. Some of these include, for example:

Best Practices In Engaging Diverse Families

(2016) Hanover Research - This report examines the literature on engaging diverse families, particularly African-American and Hispanic families, and presents case studies. It focuses primarily on public, K12 settings in large, urban public school districts, however the key findings are also relevant to engaging diverse families in other settings.

The New Voices ~ Nuevas Voces Guide to Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood

(2011) Brookes Publishing - This field-tested 5 module professional development course provides early childhood professionals with the guidance they need to create settings that support culturally and linguistically diverse children and help them succeed. It provides learning objectives, case studies, reflection questions, an assessment scale and observation checklist to monitor improvement, and more. See also, The New Voices ~ Nuevas Voces Facilitator's Guide to Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood (2011)

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute