Each year four child care centers and two family child care providers in Mercer County are chosen to participate in New Jersey’s Strengthening Families Initiative (SFI). SFI assists early childhood staff in building strategies that strengthen families, guide optimal child development, and reduce child abuse and neglect. New Jersey’s SFI uses a national and international initiative, the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework. This approach aims to develop and enhance five specific protective factors:
- Parental Resilience
- Social Connections
- Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development
- Concrete Support in Times of Need
- Social Emotional Competence in Children
This strength-based approach supports an awareness that stronger families are central to keeping children safe and helping them develop to their fullest potential. Through SFI, participating child care centers and family child care providers receive training on the protective factors listed above. Each center establishes a small team of parents and staff to self-assess and coordinate improvements. Generally, Strengthening Families is implemented through a series of “small but significant changes” to daily practice.”
Interested in improving the quality of experiences for the children, families, and staff in your program? Our experienced early childhood specialists are available to partner with your program to assess where you are, help you decide where you want to go, and develop a plan to get there — together. For more information, call Child Care Connection’s Training Department at 609-989-7940.