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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 2021 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. Our theme this year is Elevating Families: Exploring Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

In this conference, nationally and internationally known practitioners, researchers, and motivational speakers share their knowledge, to teach us and to learn from us, about parent engagement through the lens of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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.


Our conference this year will address Family Engagement through four tracks:

  • Recruitment, Enrollment and Support Services
  • Family Health and Wellness
  • Civic Engagement
  • Professional Development & Leadership

Each day, our conference will start with a thought leader who will bring attendees innovative ways to address family engagement. Our thought leaders will address research, policy, leadership, and collaboration as tools to advance local program practices. In addition, we will offer attendees over 48 hours of workshops in both English and Spanish. Workshops will bring forward practical ideas and strategies you can employ in your programs right away.

For 2021 we will offer many of our sessions will be live experiences.  Pre-recorded sessions in English and Spanish will be available as scheduled and on-demand for 90 days after the event.


Virtual and On-Demand


October 20 – 22, 2021


Upcoming Events

Solutions Seminar - Learning Stories for Family Engagement

Solutions Seminar - Learning Stories for Family Engagement

  • October 13, 2021
  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm UTC+0
2021 Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference

2021 Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference

  • October 20, 2021
  • 12:00pm - 5:00pm UTC+0

Thank You to Our Sponsors


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Questions? Contact us at headstartr9@region9hsa.org.