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Why do we host the Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference?

“There is no need to deny the value of parent participation in educational programs, in classroom observations, or as paid employees. On the contrary, not only does research show that children do better when families are more involved, but some research suggests that preschool intervention can succeed only when parents are involved in the educational process.” Jeanette Valentine & Evan Stark, Project Head Start.

Since the inception of Head Start more than 55 years ago, family engagement has always been a pillar of the program. Underlying the Head Start focus on the whole child is the understanding that parents are the primary educators and advocates of their children. Moreover, when parents engage with their children, they not only improve the child’s happiness and success — but theirs as well. Family engagement is the pathway by which all our early education work is being achieved. Holding deep insights into culture is essential as we strive to enlist families in a manner that is respectful of their community strengths and cultural aspirations.

The Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference is designed to celebrate the different cultures, traditions, and practices that are reflected in the modern family. In doing so, participants learn how to use the strengths and attributes of culture to aid a child’s own successful walk through the world.

Successful Head Start and Early Head Start programs know the power of culture, enlisting families with shared values and goals for the development of their children and themselves. Deeply rooted in the Head Start approach is the goal of building a system that advocates for “self-determination” for parents. From participation in program governing to classroom volunteerism, from parenting education to emergency services, Head Start offers families a comprehensive system of support.

R9HSA’s Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference is designed to elevate this wide-ranging agenda through thought leaders, practitioners, and advocates for high-quality and culturally responsive service.

Interested in registering but don’t have a MyR9HSA account? Please email Lindsay Knox.


A three-day event offering participants with general sessions, breakout sessions, special events, and exhibit hall.

We will be offering sessions in-person and virtual via pre-recorded.


    Prince Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu HI


    October 21-25, 2024

    Thank You to Our Sponsors


    Head Start Gear


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    Questions? Contact us at headstartr9@region9hsa.org.