Families in a Changing World
The traditional concept of a family consisting of a mother, father, and children is no longer the only picture. While generations ago this may have been the “norm”, today’s family unit is comprised in many ways. What makes a family is not always genetics, and the average American household continues to evolve over time. This is important for caregivers to know and accept as it immediately impacts the children in their care.
A family is a group of people who share a bond, values, and unconditional love. That bond may be through genetic makeup, legalities, emotional connections and more. Families come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. A family may consist of two dads and several children, a single mother and a child, two grandparents and their grandchildren, or blended families of foster children, biological children, and adopted children. Families also consist of many cultures, ethnicities, religions and more.
When working with families it is crucial to accept and respect the makeup of their families whether you would make the same choice or not. After all, your job is to provide quality child care for their children, and you cannot adequately perform this duty if you do not respect their family.
Optional Resource for Further Study
- Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and Early Childhood Education Programs: An Integrated Review of the Literature, Deborah R. Stark and Shannon Moodie, Pre-K Now
- Increasing Family Engagement in Early Childhood Programs; Jamilah R. Jor’dan, Kathy Goetz Wolf, and Anne Douglass
- Ripples of Transformation: Families Leading Change in Early Childhood Systems, Melia Franklin