Parental involvement in children's lives is not an exclusively female domain. The notion that fathers of children from low-income and high-risk backgrounds always absent themselves from child rearing is erroneous.
Head Start and Early Head Start have a long history of focusing on fathers and father figures as important contributors to the school readiness of children and the well-being of families. Male engagement is not a stand-alone initiative, but rather a vital and integrated aspect of parent, family and community engagement efforts in Head Start and Early Head Start.
Head Start's Fatherhood Initiative promotes concepts and activities that nurture the children's relationships with their fathers.
The Fatherhood Initiative supports and strengthens the roles of fathers in families. This initiative is guided by the following principles:
All fathers can be important contributors to the well-being of their children.
Parents are partners in raising their children, even when they do not live in the same household.
The roles fathers play in families are diverse and crucial to the positive development of children.