Father/Male Involvement in Early Childhood

About this resource
Reviewed: 2017

IEL Resource(s)

Online Resource(s)

Infographic: The importance of Father Involvement
Having an involved father impacts a child’s success in school and overall quality of life. This one-page infographic by Child and Family Research Partnership shows statistics about children who grow up with involved father figures.

The Meaning of Father Involvement for Children
This research brief by Child Trends shows unique ways of thinking about father involvement and discusses the roles that fathers play in their children’s lives.

Involved Dads Help Kids Grow
This webpage from the American Academy of Pediatrics talks about the ways fathers influence their children’s health and discusses the need for fathers (as well as mothers) to have paid prenatal leave.

Calling all Dads: Tips for Getting Involved in Your Child’s Preschool or Child Care Program
Dads have unique relationships with their children that should be celebrated and explored. This article provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) gives tips for teachers and fathers to promote more father-involvement in classrooms.

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
This website (fatherhood.gov) is specifically designed for fathers and professionals working with fathers. The website features a Dad Blog, tips and activities, videos, webinars, and more.

Zero to Three Resources

Daddy, Papi, Papa, or Baba: The influence of Fathers on Young Children’s Development
In this 26-minute podcast, Kyle Pruett (professor of child psychiatry) speaks about the unique importance of father relationships with young children.

The Daddy Factor: The Crucial Impact of Fathers on Young Children’s Development
Father involvement can enhance social-emotional, physical, language and cognitive development in children. This article explains the impact fathers have on their children’s lives, beginning as early as during the mother’s pregnancy.

The Daddy Factor: How Fathers Support Development
This five-minute video discusses the research that supports father involvement in young children’s lives. Unique characteristics of the father-child relationship enhance development in all domains.

The Next Generation of Fathers
Today’s dads are more committed and engaged in their children’s lives than at any other time in history. However, society makes it difficult for fathers to be involved as much as desired. This article provides ideas for policy changes that would better support fathers today.

Gabby, Age 4 Months, Learning with Her Father
Father-Child engagement is a natural exchange. This one-minute video provides an example of a father-daughter exchange that promotes learning. The text after the video points out what the child learned, what the father did, and what you can do to help your own children learn skills.


Minnesota Fathers and Families Network
This organization is dedicated to promoting healthy father-child relationships through their work with agencies and professionals. The website offers resources such as tip sheets, publications, and professional events related to father involvement.

The Father Project
This nonprofit organization strives to empower fathers to be active, informed, and emotionally involved in their children’s lives.

National Fatherhood Initiative
This organization is dedicated to equipping childhood programs with the tools they need to engage fathers. The website provides free, downloadable resources related to fatherhood and offers a resource library, blog, and other helpful information.

Additional Resource(s)

Benefits of a Male’s Presence in the Classroom
Jeffrey Shears
NHSA Dialog, 2010

Children’s Books

Building with Dad
Carol Nevius
Two Lions, 2006

I Love My Daddy Because
Laurel Porter Gaylord
Dutton Juvenile, 1991

My Dad
Anthony Browne
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2001

Papi’s Gift
Karen Stanton
Boyds Mills Press, 2007

Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek
Minfong Ho
Candlewick, 2004