Better Together Family Cafés
Among the Better Together objectives was the development and pilot of an innovation project to support families that are low-income and to improve the well-being of the ECE workforce. Nemours Children’s and partners decided to enhance the Better Together model to promote positive experience-based approaches and practices in ECE settings by developing tools to strengthen the ECE program and family relationship. As a result, Nemours Children’s and Curricula Concepts implemented Family Cafés in Arkansas as part of Better Together from 2021 – 2022.
- Family Cafés
Family cafés are not a physical space or building, but an approach to creating environments where parents and primary caregivers feel safe to engage with each other on focused topics affecting their children and families. The Better Together Family Cafés consist of five guided discussions with families on nutrition and physical activity topics, including:
- Building HOPE and Resilience Together
- Active Families, Active Children
- Cooking Up Healthy Lifestyles
- Creating Memories at Mealtime
- Managing Screen Time in a Technology World.
These Family Cafés promote positive, experience-based approaches and practices in ECE settings and strengthen ECE program and family relationships. The Better Together Family Cafés can be used in partnership with ECE programs as a family engagement tool, or they can be used separately with a group of families a trainer or consultant is already supporting in other ways.
The Better Together Family Café Sessions include:
- Guided conversations to share information with family members and to engage them in meaningful conversations.
- Tools to encourage participants to reflect on what was learned and how to incorporate learnings into daily life.
- Nutrition and physical activity resources to support continuing engagement with families.
- HOPE Building Blocks
The Better Together Family Cafés integrate the Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) framework and building blocks into the conversations with families, which combines insights from a public health approach to preventing child maltreatment with a broader understanding of how children grow to become strong, healthy, and resilient adults. To learn more about this approach, please visit www.positiveexperiences.org.
- Family Café Videos