Although early childhood programs are encouraged to facilitate meaningful home-school collaboration, use of family feedback to inform programmatic decisions may be underutilized in practice. In a birth-five childcare program in the Northeastern United States, families rated level of satisfaction with and shared open-ended comments on eight aspects of the program anticipated to be observed at arrival/dismissal (e.g., class environment, teacher–teacher interactions, teacher–child interactions, teacher–family interactions) in an anonymous end-of-year survey (70% response rate). Program administrators then participated in a 90-min focus group to discuss aggregated findings. Content analysis revealed noteworthy insights regarding initial reactions and proposed recommendations. The program director noted which proposed changes were implemented several months later. Results and implications are discussed, including the importance of birth-five professionals seeking anonymous feedback from families, allotting dedicated time to reflect on and address concerns, and notifying families of specifically how their input is being used to inform programmatic improvements.
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Thank you to Dr. Ann Tiao for providing feedback on the family survey questions and to Madeline Miscenich for assisting with peer debriefing. Special thanks to the program administrators and families who participated in this analysis.
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Edwards, N.M. Family Feedback and Programmatic Decision-Making: Responsiveness of Early Childhood Administrators. Early Childhood Educ J 46, 397–407 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-017-0874-6
- Early childhood
- Family satisfaction
- Home-school communication
- Home-school partnership