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“There’s no off-switch for us:” Head Start family engagement amidst COVID-19


Head Start center closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic required providers to innovate to continue engaging families and building relationships. Family Engagement has long been a pillar of Head Start’s holistic approach to working with children and families in poverty. The present study provides a unique qualitative, longitudinal perspective of 20 Illinois-based Head Start/Early Head Start center directors regarding their engagement and communication strategies with families prior to, during, and after state-mandated center closures. Findings indicate that staff developed novel approaches to working with families within the context of COVID-19, some of which may have an important place in a post-pandemic world. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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