In the Seattle / King County area, one of the best resources for families is the parent education programs offered by our community colleges. They serve families with children from birth to age 5 or beyond. With parent-baby classes, parent-toddler classes, cooperative preschools and enrichment classes, they offer great hands-on, play-based, developmentally appropriate programs that enhance child development in all areas: large motor, fine motor, music, art, social-emotional, language, and problem-solving skills. They offer research-based parent education on child development and parenting skills. They offer a community of connected, caring, supportive families and staff. (Learn more about parent ed programs here.)
In Fall and Winter 2020, these programs will continue to serve our community. Some are going completely online; some will offer outdoor-only programs; or indoor programs with small cohorts and hygiene protocols; or a hybrid of these options.
If you’re wondering about whether online classes can work for little ones, check out this post on Benefits of Online Preschool. And if you want to help your young child get the most out of an online class, check out Help Your Child Succeed on Zoom.
With coronavirus stay-at-home measures, many parents are feeling isolated, and feeling pressured to be all things to their child: parent, teacher, and playmate. They may worry that their child will miss out on developmental experiences and learning opportunities. Parent education programs can help!! We are all working hard to create the best possible support for parents and for their children’s learning and I encourage all parents to seek out a class.
Plans for Fall 2020
I teach for Bellevue College, so have full information about this program. Their website is: www.bellevuecollege.edu/parented/ Here’s their status:
- ALL online for Fall 2020. Will re-evaluate for January onward.
- Online programs include circle time for children (20 minutes a week for toddlers, 30 – 60 minutes for older children), parent education sessions (~45 minutes per week), plus 1:1 consultations on request. Plus: teacher curated ideas for easy hands-on learning activities that parents can do with their children at home, and guidance on how to support learning.
- Programs offered for birth to 6 years: Parent-Infant, Parent-Toddler, Co-op Preschools for age 3 – 5, Art Enrichment age 3 – 7. Saturday STEM for age 3 – 6.
- Co-ops include: Alpine (Snoqualmie), Bellevue Overlake, Eastgate (Bellevue), Issaquah, Mercer Island Learning Lab, Pine Lake (Sammamish), Sunrise (Renton).
Here’s what I was able to learn about each programs’ plans from their websites. I gathered this information in late August 2020, so verify current status on their individual websites. If it says “no info”, that means that in late August, they had no information about coronavirus or any related changes on their websites.
- Edmonds Community College www.edcc.edu/pared/
- Infant / Toddler Program (4 to 32 months old) is being offered as online only or hybrid option. Online is 1 hour a week with focus on parent education. Hybrid is 2 hours in-person every other week. I think on the other week you have an online session.
- Co-ops – Mill Creek says they’re finalizing a hybrid model which will include limited outdoor in-person time and online, Playful Learning in Lynnwood is working on a hybrid model, Snohomish will be 100% online – they have detailed plans on website; No Info: Center for Families in Edmonds, Edmonds Co-op, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Stanwood, West Edmonds
- Green River CC. 18 mo to age 5. Includes Benson Hill Coop in Kent – has a full page on covid precautions for in-person classes but they haven’t defined schedule yet, Tahoma Coop in Maple Valley – not meeting at this time – when Tahoma school district returns, they will re-evaluate, Darcy Read – no info
- Lake WA Institute of Technology. www.lwtech.edu/parented
- Kirkland Co-op – mostly online with optional outdoor activities, Lake WA Toddler Group – can choose online only or a hybrid outdoor class (with online circle time and parent ed); Northshore Co-op in Bothell – no info; Redmond Parent Co-op – says they’ll be online, no details; Redmond Toddler Group – offering three different models: indoor, outdoor, and online – details on their site; Woodinville Toddler Group is offering an online only option and a hybrid option of online / outdoor time.
- North Seattle Community College http://northseattlecoops.org/
- Broadview – says they are making plans, Crown Hill – online only, or online with pods facilitated by the coop; Vashon Maury – in-person with precautions; Wedgwood online; Victory Heights – online only or hybrid
- No info as of 9/1: Latona; Meadowbrook; North Seattle Toddlers; Sandhurst; University Ravenna; Wallingford;Woodland Park
- Seattle Central Community College.
- Shoreline Community College www.shoreline.edu/parenting-education/
- South Seattle Community College. http://westseattlepreschools.org/ Will be all online for fall 2020. Details here.
- SCCC campus, Admiral, Alki, Arbor Heights, Lincoln Park
Note: if you have updates for any of these programs, contact me at janelled at live.com.