Supporting parents and caregivers in developing their ability to nurture young children.

Postpartum and Prenatal depression and anxiety is the number 1 complication of pregnancy, yet the most likely to go unrecognized and untreated, resulting in lifelong complications for both mother and child. The Maternal Mental Health Program offers free confidential support for new parents with a Warmline and free support groups. Let us know that you are coming via registration at www.bookeo.com/parenting.

Our Core Program is a Play and Learn Playgroups (PAL) where parents and their children (aged 0-5) attend a weekly 2 hour class with facilitated by a professional parent educator. PAL classes are designed to increase parental resilience, build social connections, share knowledge of parenting and child development, provide concrete support in times of need, and support the development of social and emotional competence in children. Parents who attend PAL classes report feeling more informed, supported, and capable in their role. Enrollment is welcomed at any time via registration at www.bookeo.com/parenting.

The Parenting Connection of Monterey County(PCMC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports parents and caregivers in developing their ability to nurture young children. We have a vision that families in Monterey County thrive because children are parented well. We value parent education that is delivered respectfully, is research-based, honors the whole parent and child, and is appropriate for each age and stage. 

PCMC is guided by a set of core values. Parent education is delivered respectfully, is research-based, honors the whole parent and child, and is appropriate for each age and stage. Teachers strive to uphold the following principles:


  • Parents know their child best. Parents (not the teacher) are the experts on their child. The term parent includes primary caregivers of all sorts.
  • Curriculum intentionally develops the parent-child relationship.
  • Teachers model positive interaction and the healthy behaviors that they want to see.
  • Classes are positive, fun, interactive, and joyful - helping parents enjoy the parenting experience.
  • The teacher is not the keeper of all knowledge. Teachers facilitate shared interactive learning experiences.
  • The needs of individual parents and families are recognized; we accept each family where they are.


HISTORY:


PCMC was formed as a 501c3 non-profit organization (EIN: 41-2132550) in 2001, originally as Friends of Parents Place, by a group of volunteers to promote and support the mission of the Pacific Grove Unified School District Adult Education program Parents’ Place.


Parents’ Place was founded in 1987 in Pacific Grove, California. In its 25-year history, thousands of families have turned to Parents’ Place for learning, growth, and support during the first years of their child’s life. Parents’ Place programs have helped families build positive attachments that support healthy social-emotional development. Research shows that these relationships form the foundation of good mental health for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and strongly influence the life of the child.


Changes in state funding priorities propose to exclude parent education and the PCMC Board has taken proactive measures to develop new sources of funding while expanding services into Marina and Seaside, where there is a distinct lack of parent education in the area of early childhood development.

In 2014, Friends broadened its scope of impact to bring outstanding parent-education programs to more parents and families in Monterey County. Friends changed its name to The Parenting Connection of Monterey County (“PCMC”) to more fully reflect its mission and vision. PCMC is governed by a volunteer board of directors and is currently staffed by part-time employees (both teachers and an administrator). Current activities are centered on classes for parents and caregivers of young children (5 and under). We are committed to providing services at times when working families can participate. We are currently offering the only parent-education playgroup in Marina for families with young children - and the only parent-education playgroup on the Peninsula at times working families can participate.

COMMUNITY NEED:

PCMC reviewed existing resources for families with young children and the availability of parent education and support programs in Monterey County. According to 2010 US Census data, there are approximately 20,000 families with children 6 and under in Monterey County. There are 14,000 children ages five and under in Monterey County, and 75% are Hispanic/Latino (kidsdata.org, 2013). Every year, over 7,000 babies are born (First 5 Monterey County, 2013).

This sizable and growing population is underserved. Only 14% of families countywide report participating in parenting classes (F5MC, 2013). Most programs funded by F5MC are filled to maximum capacity, suggesting the need for more affordable and accessible parenting services (F5MC, 2013).


2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Molly Jansen, President

Emma Vetter, Vice President

Rene Montori, Secretary

Adam Urrutia, Treasurer

Brynn Kaufman


COMMUNITY VOICES:
“As new parents, we have been involved in educational programs supported by the Parenting Connection, and found the teaching, community, and support from those programs invaluable. We have made connections there that will last a lifetime, and we know our children have benefited greatly from our participation.” ~ Sameer Bakhda, MD and Kristen Bakhda, CNM     
          
“When a woman has a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder and does not get the proper support or treatment the well being of her entire family is affected. Her partner, baby, other children, and society at large are all affected, ranging from an increased risk of chronic mental health issues for the mother, increased absenteeism at work and emotional distress for the partner, higher incidence of divorce for the parents, and increased cognitive, emotional and physical deficits in the newborn, infant and children. Unfortunately many women on the Monterey Peninsula, and throughout Monterey County, have difficulty finding the path to treatment and recovery.” ~ Lisa Stewart, Ph.D.

“A fantastic resource for working parents! The Saturday classes provided our twin's first opportunity to go to a class with other children their age!” M.U. PAL  Father

“It's also the only class that I know of on the Peninsula on the weekend, so working parents can attend! Thank you for addressing this under-served part of the community.” M.H. PAL Mother

Additional classes for parents and children round out the PCMC program. Sunday Art Classes are a popular place for parents to explore and create with their toddlers. Music Classes held on Thursday evenings give families a place to reconnect through song and movement. Exercise classes that incorporate babies and toddlers honor the need for many new mothers to feel good about their bodies while being close to their baby. A monthly class that supports working parents focuses on building community relationships and helping parents incorporate self-care into their life. These additional classes rely on student fees to cover their cost, however fee waivers are offered to any family who needs one. Approximately one-third of all families utilize a fee waiver for these programs. Enrollment is welcomed at any time via registration at www.bookeo.com/parenting.