Area 2: Family and Community Relationships


The composition of the American family has been consistently changing over time, and the State of New York embodies this demographic shift. Professionals working with young children must, therefore, recognize the changing face of families so as to develop consistent practices that respect their cultures, ethnicities, languages, values, faiths, and belief systems, and thus be able to effectively support children's development and learning.

Family, in any form, is the first group a child comes in contact with upon birth. It sustains his or her growth and development, begins the processes of socialization and self-regulation, and provides the first learning environment for the child. Professionals working with young children must acknowledge the role families play in every child's life and strive to form respectful partnerships with the families of the children under her or his care so as to create not only the smoothest possible transition to a different, larger group of individuals but also the openness and consistency of care every child needs and deserves to in a democratic society.

Professionals working with young children are in actuality working not only with the children but also with their families, and are obligated to enrich and support that first network of care so as to be able to effectively impact the children, their development, and their current and future learning in a positive way.

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Core Competencies:

Select a competency below to view the competency profile, including the associated behaviors and skills.

The professional working with young children:

  • 2.1

    Respects families and is responsive to language, culture, family characteristics, needs, concerns and priorities.

  • 2.2

    Communicates regularly, respectfully, and effectively with families

  • 2.3

    Provides families with opportunities to learn and develop skills to help their children achieve desired outcomes at the program, at home, and in the community

  • 2.4

    Shares responsibility, collaborates with families, and involves them in decision-making

  • 2.5

    Helps connect families with needed resources and services

  • 2.6

    Supports families through transitions within and between programs


New York Works for Children