Parent engagement is an important factor in the success of a comprehensive early childhood system. Parents are the decision making "consumer" of early childhood programs and services and their input is necessary in shaping how early childhood services are delivered to the community.
Parents, guardians, and others acting in the parenting role are encouraged to participate and provide leadership in system development, implementation, guidance, and evaluation. The Parent Coalition was created as a forum where parents can participate in the Great Start Collaborative-Oakland.
Not only does the Parent Coalition work with the Great Start Collaborative-Oakland to help support their purpose, but we also offer opportunities for parents to share information and participate in decision-making processes related to early childhood services.
For more information on the Great Start Collaborative-Oakland or to join the Parent Coalition, contact Robin Psenka, Lead Parent Liaison.
The Great Start Parent Coalition hears from parents all the time about how Great Start and preschool helped their families:
Parent Outreach Opportunities
- "The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is a great alternative for parents of preschool age children who do not qualify for Head Start. If GSRP wasn't available my child would have started kindergarten without any 'classroom experience.'"
- "It was such a benefit for my daughter to attend preschool in the same building where she will attend elementary school. She was able to interact with older kids in the hallways, get familiar with the routine at the school and see friendly faces in the office, as well as her older siblings."
- "Expansion of preschool is crucial, however if no improvements are made to higher grades, are we setting up our preschoolers for failure?"
- "As a parent helping in the classroom, there are clear differences between children who have had preschool and children who did not.
Our Parent Liaison and parent members are available for community outreach events in which parents of young children will be present. Such events may include: PTA and Policy Council Meetings; Parent Education Events; School or Community Events; and Mom's or Parent Group Meetings. Please contact Robin Psenka
to present early childhood resource and advocacy training at your next event.