How can parents get involved in preschool? Barriers and engagement in education by ethnic minority parents of children attending Head Start programs.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julia Mendez, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: An intervention was developed to promote parent involvement with ethnic minority families of children attending Head Start preschool programs. Two hundred eighty-eight predominantly African American families from a small southern city were included in this study. Parent satisfaction with the program was high, yet engagement was less than optimal. Some effects were found for the program, despite low levels of participation. Ethnic minority parents who received the intervention increased the frequency of reading to their child as compared with parents in a comparison group who did not receive the program. The quality of the parent–teacher relationship was significantly correlated with parental participation in the intervention. Program participation and the parent–teacher relationship were correlated with higher levels of children’s school readiness abilities. Children in the intervention condition showed stronger end-of-year receptive vocabulary and parent-rated social competence as compared with children who did not receive treatment. This research documents the challenges involved in engaging parents in prevention programs. Strategies for maximizing the benefits of preschool for ethnic minority families and their children are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
african american families, Head Start, community-based intervention, parent involvement, school readiness, minority groups, preschool education, racial and ethnic groups

Email this document to