With COVID-19 closures still in place, many parents with young kids are feeling isolated and finding it hard to be a parent, teacher and playmate to their children all at once. Some parents may also worry that their child will miss out on important developmental experiences and learning opportunities without regular socialization. If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider a Parent Education program.
Community colleges around Seattle and King County offer Parent Education programs for families with infants up to kids age 5 and beyond. They offer parent-baby classes, parent-toddler classes, cooperative preschools and enrichment classes. Programs provide hands-on, play-based, developmentally appropriate programs that enhance child development in many areas including social-emotional and problem-solving skills. These programs provide research-based parent education on child development and parenting skills. They also have the added bonus of giving parents access to a community of supportive families and staff.
These programs will continue to serve our community this year. Some are going completely online for fall; some will offer outdoor-only programs; others will offer indoor programs with small cohorts and hygiene protocols; or a hybrid of these options.
Here's is a list of what area colleges are planning for the fall.
Editor's note: Please check each program's website for the most up-to-date information regarding offerings.
All programs will be online for fall 2020 and the college will re-evaluate for December 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. There will also be 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 and Parent-Toddler, Art Enrichment for ages 3–6. Saturday STEM for ages 3–6, and Co-op Preschools for ages 3–5. Co-ops include: Alpine (Snoqualmie), Bellevue Overlake, Eastgate (Bellevue), Issaquah, Mercer Island Learning Lab, Pine Lake (Sammamish), Sunrise (Renton).
Infant/Toddler Program (4–32 months old) is available online or as a hybrid option. Online is one hour a week with a focus on parent education. Hybrid is two hours in-person every other week.
Mill Creek Co-op Preschool is finalizing a hybrid model that will include limited outdoor in-person time and online.
Playful Learning in Lynnwood is working on a hybrid model.
Snohomish Cooperative Preschool will be online and has detailed plans on its website.
Edmonds Co-op will be starting the school year online.
Marysville will have modified in-person class with online content to support daily class times.
Stanwood will be offering online preschool for the fall.
West Edmonds will be starting the school year online, with the hope of moving to a hybrid model later on in the school year.
Center for Families groups in Edmonds and Lake Stevens are still finalizing plans for the school year.
Benson Hill Co-op in Kent has a full page on COVID-19 precautions for in-person classes but it hasn't defined its fall schedule yet.
Tahoma Co-op in Maple Valley will not be meeting at this time but will re-evaluate when the Tahoma School District returns to in-person learning.
Darcy Read Preschool is still finalizing plans for the school year.
Kirkland Co-op will be mostly online with optional outdoor activities.
Lake Washington Toddler Group will be offering online-only programs or a hybrid outdoor class (with online circle time and parent education).
Northshore Co-op in Bothell hasn't released details on its site yet.
Redmond Parent Co-op will be online only.
Redmond Toddler Group will be offering three different models: indoor, outdoor and online. You can find details on the website.
Woodinville Toddler Group will be offering an online-only option and a hybrid option of online/outdoor time.
Broadview will be offering an online program.
Crown Hill will be online only, or online with pods facilitated by the co-op.
Vashon Maury will be operating in-person with precautions.
Wedgwood will be online only.
Victory Heights will be offering online or a hybrid option.
Woodland Park will be offering an outdoor preschool.
Wallingford will be online only for Pre–3s and will be offering a hybrid model with in-person and virtual learning for ages 3–5.
Sandhurst will be offering a hybrid model with virtual and in-person preschool outdoors.
Latona; Meadowbrook, North Seattle Toddlers and University-Ravenna haven't shared details on their sites yet.
Capitol Hill and Madison Park will be online only.
Queen Anne will be operating a hybrid model. They currently have one class with an in-person outdoor add-on. In phase 3., they will have more classes outdoors.
Lakewood Co-op will be operating online and hybrid in-person classes.
Magnolia, Rainier Valley, and Open Circle Preschool haven't shared details on their sites yet.
Bothell Family Co-op and North City Co-op will be operating their programs outside this fall.
Shoreline will be offering a hybrid model.
Crystal Springs hasn't shared details about the new school year yet.
Inglemoor will be offering limited outdoor in-person learning along with online learning.
Shorenorth will be offering limited outdoor in-person learning along with online learning. Baby 'n' Me class will be held virtually this fall.
Woodinville Family will be providing classes but hasn't shared details yet.
All programs will be online for fall 2020 and details for Admiral, Alki, White Center and Lincoln Park can be found on the website. Some programs are planning a hybrid model in October with 90 percent remote learning plus one day of outdoor education.
This article was originally published on Good Days With Kids and republished with permission on September 3, 2020.