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Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families

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Because of their active role in family life, early childhood educators are uniquely positioned to play a key role in strengthening families—and in doing so, preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting children's healthy social and emotional development. Since 2002, NAEYC’s Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families (STSF) initiative has been helping early childhood professionals strengthen families.   The Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Familiesinitiative is not a training or manual on how to strengthen families.  Rather, it is a set of activities designed to promote and support family strengthening strategies in early childhood programs and by individual professionals.     

The Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families initiative includes:

  • Leadership development to help bring NAEYC's family strengthening work to scale and sustain these efforts over time. Two cohorts of early childhood professionals—in 2005 and 2006—participated in the Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families National Leadership Program, an intensive, year-long leadership development opportunity.     
  • Developing and disseminating resources to help early childhood professionals implement family strengthening strategies.   NAEYC also communicates about strengthening families through conference sessions, Young Children articles, this Web site, and more. 
  • Partnerships with other national organizations doing similar work.  These complementary partnerships enhance our collective efforts.   
  • An evaluation of NAEYC’s efforts to determine successes and lessons learned.  
  • Research to help inform these efforts and provide the foundation for policy and practice enhancements.  

For more than 75 years NAEYC has been leading efforts to promote high-quality early learning for all children from birth through age eight. With Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families, NAEYC has expanded its efforts to support early childhood professionals and families as they strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for all children. The work of Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families is guided by a group of expert advisors who help NAEYC extract meaning from our research and evaluation efforts, identify strategies for future directions, and explore opportunities for collaborative relationships.   

Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families receives generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  Additional funding and support comes from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and the Technical Assistance Center for Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI).   

NAEYC welcomes your comments and questions. Please write to us about Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families at