Getting Ready Approach

Getting Ready is an evidence-based family engagement approach that increases school readiness among children ages 5 and younger who participate in home visitation or center-based early childhood programs. Developed by researchers the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2004, Getting Ready focuses on building, strengthening and sustaining relationships.

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How it works

Getting Ready is an intentional process of interacting with families during all exchanges, including home visits, conferences and informal interactions, and is seamlessly infused into early childhood programs.

The approach encourages family engagement in all aspects of children’s development, while building on culturally relevant strengths for both parents and children. Together, educators and families set goals to help children reach their fullest potential.

The Getting Ready Approach consists of:

  • 8 evidence-based strategies used by early childhood educators to enhance their partnerships with parents.
  • Collaborative family contact structure that offers guidance on how to conduct meetings with families.

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Professional Development

Professional development is key to Getting Ready’s success in promoting family engagement and partnership in support of children’s learning and development.

Educators learn the Getting Ready Approach in two virtual formats:

  • Initial training
  • Ongoing coaching

Virtual Training Structure

Initial training

Participate in live, interactive, virtual training to learn about dynamic adult-child interactions and relationships, parent-educator partnerships and collaborative interactions. (Video modules are also available if educators miss the live training.)

What educators will learn:

  • How to use the 8 Getting Ready strategies to build partnerships with parents and support parent competencies.
  • How to conduct formal meetings using the collaborative family contact structure.

Coaching sessions

Receive live, one-on-one support in using the Getting Ready Approach. These ongoing coaching sessions are interactive, reflective, strengths-based and action-oriented.

What educators will do:

  • Video record a formal family contact, such as a conference or home visit.
  • Submit the video for coach review.
  • Participate in a virtual coaching conversation.

Educators will have several opportunities to repeat this cycle.

Coaching Cycle

Gettoing Ready Coaching Cycle

Where it Works

Getting Ready can be adapted to meet your program’s needs. Evidence shows the Getting Ready Approach can be effective in a variety of early childhood settings, including:

Home visitation programming

(e.g., Early Head Start; Sixpence; early intervention)

Center-based programming

(e.g., Preschool, community child care, Head Start/Early Head Start)

Home-based child care

(Can we add something here for balance?)

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Getting Ready different from other programs?

The Getting Ready Approach has been rigorously tested to demonstrate its effectiveness and focuses specifically on supporting children’s learning and development through collaborative parent partnerships. It is not a curriculum, but a “way of doing business."

Is Getting Ready a parent involvement program?

While parent involvement is one important part of early childhood programming, Getting Ready focuses on providing educators with strategies to build collaborative, bi-directional partnerships with families where everyone has a role and brings important information to the table to promote children’s development.

Why do early childhood educators receive coaching after the initial training?

Ongoing professional development is key to Getting Ready’s success. After receiving formal training, educators receive ongoing, live, interactive coaching to build program capacity and support educators in blending Getting Ready elements seamlessly into family interactions.

Is Getting Ready a curriculum or stand-alone program?

Getting ready is not a curriculum or packaged, stand-alone program. Getting Ready is adaptable and can be embedded in existing early childhood programs and aligns with curricula (e.g., Growing Great Kids, Parents as Teachers, HFA).

How does Getting Ready support and extend your current programmatic structure and partnerships?

Getting Ready supplements and extends early childhood curricula and programming (e.g., Growing Great Kids, Parents as Teachers, HFA, Early Head Start, Sixpence). VALUE ADD! Getting Ready also complements and supports other coaching programs (e.g., Step Up to Quality, Rooted in Relationships, ReadyRosie).

Can I take Getting Ready virtual training any time?

Yes, if a program has agreed to participate, and educators have enrolled in the training series, they may take the virtual training at any time. Once educators are registered they will receive a username and password to complete Getting Ready’s on-demand video training modules.