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Intentional Connection: Establishing Positive Relationships Between Child Care Providers and Military Families

CE credit is not available for this webinar.

PDF of presentation slides:
PDF of Recommended Resources:

Strong relationships between child care professionals and parents don't just happen - they must be intentionally built. For military families, these relationships can be a critical support.

In this web conference, participants will hear the story of how the presence (and absence) of an effective family-school partnership has impacted one military family and what all of us can learn from their experience.
The presenters will also discuss:
- what research says about the benefits to children of positive parent-provider partnerships, and
- effective strategies for building positive relationships with families that participants can implement immediately.

CE credit is not available for this webinar.

Dr. Rhonda Spearman:
Rhonda Spearman holds three degrees in Education with specializations in Early Childhood Development and Information Science. Over the past 20 years she has worked in higher education managing online course and community platforms, facilitating faculty and staff professional development, and directing student success and testing centers. None of these credentials prepared her for what she would experience during her husband’s two deployments – exploding plumbing, multiple flat tires, midnight refrigerator raids, indoor egg bombings, run away horses, and naked escapades in pre-school. It is with humor, love, and humility that she shares the family’s missteps and victories while Mr. Fix-It is deployed. Rhonda, her husband (a Sergeant serving in the Air National Guard), and their boys, age 7 and 4, currently call Texas home.

Dr. Kathy Reschke (Child Care Concentration Leader for the Military Families Learning Network):
Kathy has had a wide range of experiences that have led up to the Military Families project. After 15 years teaching preschoolers, she returned to the classroom as a student, earning her master’s and doctorate in early childhood education. For the past twelve years, Kathy has focused on sharing her fascination with young children and their care with early childhood professionals, first as an Extension State Specialist in Early Development and Learning at the Ohio State University, and then as an independent consultant and writer for child care professional development organizations. Kathy sees working with eXtension as the Child Care Concentration Leader as a wonderful opportunity to apply her expertise, passion and experience toward a valuable cause.


Articles and Online Resources:
--“Parent-Provider Relationships: 7 Keys to Good Communication” (military family emphasis)
--“If Only I’d Known: Enhancing Parent-Provider Communication” (military family emphasis)

-- Provider-Parent Partnerships (website):
-- "Raising Children Together" (article)
-- "Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework: Promoting Family Engagement and School Readiness from Prenatal to Age 8" (HHS-ACF)

-- "From Parents to Partners: Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program," by Janis Keyser, Redleaf Press/NAEYC
-- "Relationships, the Heart of Quality Care: Creating Community Among Adults in Early Care Settings," by Amy Baker and Lynn Mandredi-Petitt, NAEYC


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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

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