Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher

Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. To be most effective at helping children grow and learn parents should actively engage with their children, and with the programs and schools their children attend. Beginning at birth, parent engagement to support early learning and literacy at home is accomplished by parents having frequent conversations with children, asking and answering children’s questions, reading to children, singing songs, and participating in shared experiences.

Parent engagement that supports early learning and literacy once children are in school requires a partnership between parents and teachers focused on accelerating children’s learning. Teacher-parent partnerships are most effective when parent participation is encouraged by teachers and school leaders; when parents and teachers are provided with multiple forms of data demonstrating children’s progress, growth, and challenges; and when specific tools and resources are provided to parents, with actionable items parents can do at home to deepen children’s learning.

We recommend Tennessee:

Our priorities for parent engagement are that Tennessee will:

  • Develop and replicate programs and practices that strengthen the quality of parents’ engagement in their child’s learning at home, and at school.
  • Expand evidenced-based prevention and early intervention programs for disadvantaged children and their families that successfully address barriers to later success in school and life.
Did you know?

86% of Tennesseans favor expanding support
for parents to help them be effective teachers of
their infants, toddlers and pre‐schoolers at home.

Learn More

During this current legislative session through April 2018, our specific legislative agenda items are to:

Download These Documents & Take Action Today

Proven Results

You're Making a Difference

We’re proud to champion Tennessee’s Early Childhood Education needs and we’re making a difference! Take a moment to review the results form our recent poll. There’s always more to be done so we thank you in advance for joining us and helping strengthen further!


PreK Quality

Preserved PreK for xx,000 4-year olds while insisting on quality in EVERY classroom.

Parent Engagement

Launched new academic parent-teacher partnerships.


Defended aligned assessments and kindergarten portfolio as critical tools for monitoring and improving student progress.

Great Teachers & Leaders

Initiated two vital and actionable studies with Vanderbilt University and Tennessee Department of Education to drive improvements in early grades instruction.

#MyEarlyEducation to support the Tennesseens for Quality Early Education
Get Involved! Support Early Education and Join Our Coalition