Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement Series

Explore the Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement Series to learn more about the knowledge, skills, and individual practices that early childhood professionals need to engage families effectively in positive, goal-oriented relationships. These competencies are based on research and recommended practice across many fields working with families from pregnancy through the early childhood years. These fields include early care and education, early intervention, infant mental health, child welfare, maternal and child health, pediatrics, social work, and psychology. This series is organized as a set of four resources: an overview and three additional resources designed for specific roles—family services professionals, teachers and child care providers, and home visitors. Each role-specific resource also describes related competencies for supervisors and leaders. Professional development assessment tools are available for professionals and their supervisors to assess progress in each competency and identify areas for professional growth.

The relationship-based competencies (RBCs) are consistent with specific state core knowledge and competencies for early childhood professionals and other preparation resources for the early childhood workforce. The competencies can reinforce and extend efforts across states to increase family engagement in early childhood programs. The RBCs are aligned with the 2016 Child Care and Development Fund final rule. The RBCs were developed by the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) with input from the Office of Head Start (OHS), the Office of Child Care (OCC), early childhood professionals, parents, and other early childhood national training and technical assistance centers funded by OHS and OCC.

Early childhood professionals can use the RBCs to:

  • Strengthen relationships with all families
  • Support families in taking positive steps toward their own goals
  • Identify personal and professional strengths and challenges for supporting family engagement
  • Choose professional development opportunities in their program and community to enhance their relationship-based practices

Program directors, managers, supervisors, coaches, and consultants can use the RBCs to:

  • Understand and identify the skills and knowledge that early childhood professionals have and need
  • Plan and lead professional development opportunities
  • Plan and implement opportunities for reflective practice and coaching
  • Develop program strategies and policies for enhancing strengths-based and culturally and linguistically responsive family engagement
  • Create job descriptions for professionals and supervisors that include family engagement
  • Enhance partnerships with community organizations that support families with young children

State, district, county, and community leaders can use the RBCs to:

  • Develop strategic plans to enhance early childhood workforce development
  • Form new partnerships or strengthen existing partnerships with colleges and universities to support the inclusion of family engagement in educational opportunities
  • Help make decisions about the use of existing resources to promote family engagement
  • Develop systems and infrastructure to support collaboration among community partners
  • Coordinate family engagement efforts across early childhood initiatives and systems

Resources in this series:

Related Webinar Series:

  • Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement Webinar Series
    • Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement for All Early Childhood Professionals: An Overview
    • Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work With Children in Group Settings
    • Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work With Families
    • Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits


Publication Date: 
July 17, 2018
Resource Type: 
Archive Status: