Parent Child Center Classes
The Parent Child Center offers classes for children aged 2 months to 2+ years and their parents or caregivers. Families are placed in classes appropriate for their child's age group: 2-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 24 months plus. Parents and their children attend a weekly two-hour class on campus which offers children the opportunity to learn and grow through music and song, art, physical activities, and numerous hands-on play and exploration materials. Children learn to trust others, gain independence and social experiences, and develop language and coordination. In a relaxed, supportive environment, parents increase their skills and knowledge to relate and interact with young children with the support of a professional staff which has an extensive background in child development, early childhood and parent education. This, combined with the opportunity given to share their experiences and learn from each other, enables parents to gain confidence in themselves and their abilities to set reasonable guidelines and expectations.
Child Learning Opportunities
Play activities for children are planned and guided by a skilled children's teacher using a wide range of hands-on materials. For young infants, the children's teacher will provide safe, appropriate sensory toys and lead parents in song and movement. Older children will be provided with age/developmentally appropriate sensory and art materials and also participate in a music and movement time.
The Parent Child Center has a large variety of quality developmentally appropriate toys, a wide selection of books and music, as well as wood riding toys and a wood play structure. Parents serve as co-teachers in the classroom, contributing to the safety and learning of all of the children. Thus, class time serves as a "laboratory" experience for parents to practice new skills and learn from staff and one another.
Parent Discussion time
Special time is set aside during each class period for formal discussion, facilitated by the Parent Educator, on topics including child development, child rearing issues and parent development and growth. These sessions provide the opportunity for parents to share their joys and frustrations and to problem solve with others. The Parent Child Center staff also facilitate development of a community support network that extends beyond weekly classes.
Each class has a snack time. In the infant classes, snack is for the parents. In the toddler classes, this is a special time that gives additional opportunities for enhancing the social interaction skills and language development of young children.
The Parent/Child Center has resources which include handouts, books and periodicals, online resources and DVDs. The Parent Child Center staff can also provide references of community resources relevant to child development, behavior and the family.
Parent Co-operative playgroups were started in Seattle in 1941, at the Seattle Public Schools, to provide social education for children and parenting education for adults. The Parent Education Co-op model spread across the State of Washington and, in the mid-1960s, moved to the Community Colleges. Presently, nearly every Community College in Washington State offers some form of Parent-Child Cooperative education. In the Co-op model parents work in the children’s classroom as teacher assistants. The philosophy of the co-op model is that the children’s program provides an experiential core for adult learning about early childhood education and development. Adult education sessions on a range of parenting topics supplement the laboratory experience.
The Parent Child Center is located in the Broadway Edison Building of the Seattle Central Community College, room BE1124 in the southwest corner of the building. It is a light airy space with large windows and a large play area. In one corner there are couches to welcome parents for their discussion with the Parent Education Instructor. The rest of the space includes play areas for large motor, find motor, sensory, imaginative, early literacy, and cognitive learning experiences. The children are offered a mix of permanent and varying play choices, to meet needs for both continuity and developmental growth.
Typical Class Routines
The first half hour is free play for all children and adults. Next, half of the adults attend the parenting topic discussion with the Parent Educator for 40-45 minutes. The other adults work with the Children’s Teacher as co-teachers, assuring safe play and maximum learning and fun for all of the children. Adults alternate each week participating in discussion group and working in the classroom. After this period, the classroom is cleaned up and the children sit at small tables for a snack. Last, everyone participates in a music and movement circle time led by the Children’s Teacher.
Parents and babies arrive and get settled on mats forming a circle in the classroom. First there is a check-in and sharing time, followed by a parenting discussion led by the Parent Educator. Next, the Children’s Teacher leads a music and movement time for all of the parents and babies. Last, a snack is served to the adults.
The Dads class is structured similarly to the toddler classes, however the age range of the children is wider, from 12 to 36 months as of September. The parent education discussions focus on issues particular to fathers, as well as general topics of children development and child rearing.
How to Enroll
If you would like to enroll in an upcoming quarter, please call 206.934.6906, or send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be placed on the wait list. We need the following information to place you on the wait list:
- Your first and last name
- Your child's name and date of birth
- Your address
- Your phone number or email address
Once you are on the wait list, you will be notified of any class openings in your child's age. Each class has openings for 18 families. The parent is the registered student. You will be kept on the wait list until you have secured a space in class or until your child is too old for our program.
Please note: you cannot register for the class through the Parent Child Center. By leaving your name, address, phone and child's date of birth, you are not registering for class; you are being placed on the wait list to receive notification of class openings.
Tuition and Scholarships
Tuition for all Parent Child Center Classes is currently $135.00 per quarter, payable in full by check, cash or credit card, upon registration. A limited number of scholarships are available. If you would like to apply for scholarship, please contact your instructor for a scholarship application form.
Enrolled families have priority when registering for the next quarter. Enrollment will open to families on the wait list after returning families have enrolled.