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Visit OCF's Education Initiatives page for more information on how OCF is investing to support early childhood education in Oregon.

Spotlight on Parenting Education:mother reading to child

Parenting is one of the most important jobs there is. It is also one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs! All parents want the best for their children, but keeping up with the latest parenting research can feel like an impossible task. If you Google “parenting,” nearly 6 million results pop up. Who has time to sort through these results when your child is teething for the first time, throwing a temper tantrum, or entering a new phase?

Parenting education is all about giving parents the support they need (and deserve!) to be the best parents they can be. Most parents have access to birthing classes through local hospitals or clinics to prepare for a new addition to the family, but after bringing a new baby home or adopting a child, parenting education can be hard to find! The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (also known as “OPEC”) was started in 2010 to make parenting education available to all Oregon families (and families in Siskiyou County, California). Your local OPEC Parenting Hub is the “go-to” place for parenting resources, family activities, and parenting education classes. Many of our parenting experiences and struggles are similar, yet they are not the same. OPEC programs are intended to support you on your journey as a parent and to connect you with other families in your community.

What is parenting education?

Parenting education comes in many forms, including resources, family activities, and evidence-based parenting education classes. Evidence-based classes are a great way to expand your parenting toolbox and build connections with other families. Classes are an opportunity to learn about child development (“Is my child’s behavior normal?”), share parenting strategies (“What do you do at bedtime?”), and connect with other families to create a community where children can thrive.

How does my family benefit from parenting education?

Parenting education provides a chance to:

  • Expand your knowledge of up-to-date research-based parenting strategies
  • Connect with other parents to share and learn from one another
  • Learn strategies to support optimal health and wellbeing for your child
  • Promote your child’s early learning and school readiness
  • Learn about resources for families in your community
  • Ask questions, and more!

What do parents say about OPEC parenting education classes?

“It normalizes the experience of being able to talk to other parents live and in person one on one, not reading something online.”

“Meeting other parents and sharing experience. Gaining awareness and comfort with changing baby and knowledge that all babies are different. There is no normal.”

“It was very informational. I very much like how it helped you think about yourself as a person as well as your children.”

Get Involved Tips:

  • Learn more about parenting education in your community through orparenting.org
  • Volunteer with a community program serving young children and families
  • Talk with your state legislator about the importance of early childhood investments
  • Visit this blog on the Children’s Institute website, which offers a wealth of tips for parents.