Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Early Childhood Research 2023 DOI: 10.1177/1476718X221140747


Copyright © 2022 by the authors; published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Communication between teachers and families in early childhood is a key aspect of successful teacher-family engagement. The goal of this exploratory study was to investigate how teachers communicated with families in early childhood classrooms and what they communicated about. This study of 31 teachers working with children birth to age five, primarily in the Midwestern U.S. examined how they described communication with families using semi-structured interviews. Findings indicated that teachers used multiple formats to communicate with families about children’s daily routines, developmental progress, and other relevant information. Teachers preferred in-person communication although challenges occurred due to classroom dynamics and the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Technology such as apps and messaging emerged as an efficient way to reach most families, however difficulties facilitating reciprocal communication with families were described. Further research is needed to identify successful communication strategies for both teachers and families, thus building higher quality teacher-family partnerships.