Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Early childhood educators working to establish and maintain productive parent-teacher relationships are essential to the success of school-community partnerships in military- connected schools. The purpose of this study was to seek understanding of what early childhood educators had experienced while working with military families. Epstein's model of school, family, and community partnerships provided the conceptual framework for this study. The questions that guided this case study were designed to explore how early childhood educators established and maintained relationships with military families. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews with 8 early childhood educators in military-connected schools. Inductive data analysis was used to code the data initially and then to determine these 5 themes: (a) educators used many methods to communicate with families; (b) parent involvement was influenced by educator communication, family life, and school culture; (c) deployments impacted student achievement; (d) strong community resources were deemed necessary; and (e) military children benefitted from having resilient educators. Participants believed timely training addressing the unique needs of military families would be advantageous. A 3-day professional development for early childhood educators was developed to incorporate the findings of this study. School districts implementing the professional development for early childhood educators in a strong school, family, and community partnership will result and will lead to positive social change by increasing the academic achievement, emotional wellbeing, and social welfare of children of military families attending military-connected schools.