At Head Start, we believe that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, and that to address the needs of the whole child you have to address the needs of the whole family.
We also know that family stability and well-being are strong contributors to children’s outcomes in early childhood and throughout their lifetimes. Early childhood programs can partner with parents and caregivers to create a safe and nurturing environment for children and families.
The Head Start community also knows that welcoming differences and ensuring equality, respect, and dignity for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is critical to ensuring that all children and families thrive. We hope that the resources here will be helpful to your efforts on behalf of children and families' well-being.
Creating a Welcoming Early Childhood Program for LGBT-Headed Families, Office of Head Start
In this resource series from the Office of Head Start (OHS), learn ways to enhance relationships with parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Head Start directors, teachers, providers, and parents can use this resource to help build strong partnerships.
All Children—All Families Project, Human Rights Campaign
This project promotes LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies and formally recognizes those agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion that can serve as examples for other organizations.
Creating Positive School Environments, Welcoming Schools
Welcoming Schools provides training and resources to educators to embrace all families, create LGBTQ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.
Stories for All Project, First Book
Children feel valued and validated when they see their own experiences reflected on the pages of books, and they develop curiosity and empathy when they read about experiences different from their own. To help your kids grow as both readers and global citizens, explore First Book’s curated selection of diverse books.
Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Students, Teaching Tolerance
This guide from Teaching Tolerance is designed to help create an LGBTQ-inclusive school climate through four key areas: policy checkup, classroom culture, instruction, and family and community engagement. Get ideas for responding to pushback from the community, as well as helping LGBTQ students and nontraditional families feel included in school communities.
- Embracing LGBTQIA+ Staff in Early Childhood Programs (NAEYC)
- Creating Safe & Inclusive Schools for LGBTQ+ Families (Family Equality)
- READY, SET, RESPECT! Elementary School Toolkit (GLSEN, NAEYC, NAESP)
- Back to School Tool for LGBTQ+ Families (Family Equality)
- LGBTQ Books (Common Sense)
- Reading and Teaching the Rainbow: Making Elementary School Classrooms LGBTQ-Inclusive (American Federation of Teachers)
- Diverse Book Finder(We Need Diverse Books)
- Talking to Children About Differences and Similarities (Office of Head Start)
How Can We Support You?
We will continue to update these resources and invite you to share resources and let us know how we can better support your program’s needs.