Whatcom classes available to help smooth out the path of parenthood

No one ever said parenting a child is easy. Sometimes a guide for the rocky parts of the parenting path helps help smooth out the journey. Parents overwhelmed by the variety of self-help parenting books or who can’t find the answer to their unique question about the unique, young person in their home can find several parenting classes in Whatcom County with experts who can help.

Bellingham Technical College

The college offers a variety of classes as well as parent-infant activity classes throughout the year through its Community Education Program. Class prices range from under $50 for a one-evening seminar to $165 for 10-week classes. Classes are available about all ages of children, beginning with infant care as well as “Raising School-Age Children” and “Love & Logic for Successful Parenting,” which is based on the popular book series and parenting philosophy.

Visit btc.ctc.edu for the winter schedule, beginning in January.

Scholarships are available.

Brigid Collins Family Support Center

The center offers “The Incredible Years,” a 16-week class, twice a year. Originally designed for teachers, the class teaches parents how to offer nurturing parenting and alternatives to harsh discipline. Brigid Collins also offers a variety of individualized parent-child therapies and individual coaching programs for parents about positive parenting skills or who are learning to parent a child with special needs, including ADHD or behavioral problems.

Visit brigidcollins.org or call 360-734-4616 for upcoming classes or for more information.

Whatcom County Dispute Resolution Center

The center offers a variety of classes to help children who are experiencing their parent’s divorce or parents and children who are in conflict. The center’s class “Helping Children through Family Changes,” offered monthly, is court-required for parents getting a divorce in Whatcom County, but is also open for extended families, guardians or those who are previously divorced. Cost is $45, but offered on a sliding scale depending on income.

The center also offers parenting mediation for parents and teens to discuss disputes about friendships, curfews or other issues that require problem-solving, but not psychological counseling services. A nominal donation is requested for services.

Visit whatcomdrc.org or call 360-676-0122 for more information.



Classes for adults and children, half scholarships available for classes.


Feb. 3-March 16, 2015; 6-8 p.m., $46.

A short evening course for moms and dads and their babies. Share with other parents while playing with your infant and learn about parenting in the first six months.

• BABY ‘N’ ME (1-7)

Jan. 14-March 11, 2015; 1-3 p.m., $96.

A daytime class for parents and their infants through seven month of age. Covers topics related to sleep, development, nutrition, adjusting to parenting, and play.

• BABY ‘N ME (8-12)

Jan. 12-March 16, 2015; 1-3 p.m., $96.

A daytime class for parents and their older babies. Topics include emerging language, safety, nutrition, and beginning discipline.


10 sessions, $165.

A series of 10 once-a-week morning classes for adults and toddlers to attend together. Form lasting relationships with other families while children learn through play in a fun, safe, preschool-like environment.

Thursdays, Jan. 15-March 19, 2015, for 1-year-olds.

Wednesdays, Jan. 14-March 18, 2015, for 1- and 2-year-olds.

Mondays, Jan. 12-March 23, 2015, for 2-year-olds.

Tuesdays, Jan. 13-March 17, 2015, for 2-year-olds.


10 sessions, $165.

A series of 10 once-a-week morning classes for adults with multiple children (birth to 5 years old) or those with a preschool age child without siblings.

Wednesdays, Jan. 14-March 25, 2015.

Thursdays, Jan. 15-March 26, 2015.

Fridays, Jan. 16-March 20, 2015.


Adult discussion classes with half scholarships available.


Thursdays, Jan. 29-Feb. 26, 2015; 7-9 p.m., $64.

Once-a-week class offers information on understanding young children their emotional and social development, and appropriate discipline techniques.


Meets Thursdays Jan. 15 and March 5, 2015; 7-9 p.m. with online work on your own schedule, $100.

A flexible course for parents/caregivers of children ages 6-11 years that offers a practical approach to improving adult/child relations.


Saturdays, Feb. 21 and 28; 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., $96.

Based on positive discipline techniques, this two-day class helps to build a more cooperative, respectful, and joyful relationships with your child(ren).


Saturday, March 7, 2015; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $64.

Based on the Love and Logic philosophy, this one-day workshop unlocks the secrets of successful parenting for parents of tots to teens.


Under the umbrella of Whatcom Community College, the cooperative preschool programs provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for toddlers and preschoolers. By enrolling your child in a preschool, you automatically become a Whatcom Community College student earning college credit through our parent cooperative preschools .

Whatcom Community College parenting education students have access to the library and other campus resources.

Parent expectations in the coop are to assist the preschool teacher two or three class periods per month as the lab portion of class, participate in fundraisers, assist in the end-of-year cleaning, perform one parent job and attend monthly parenting meetings.

There are four cooperative preschools in Whatcom County:

Children’s Coop Preschool, St. James Presbyterian Church, 910 14th St.; 360-510-9558; childrenscooppreschool.com; childrenscooppreschool@gmail.com.

Lakeside Coop Preschool, Silver Beach Elementary School, 4101 Academy St.; 360-647-7578; jfields15@comcast.net.

Sunnyland Cooperative Preschool, Sunnyland Elementary School, 2800 James St.; whatcomfamilycoop.org; sunnylandcooperativepreschool@gmail.com.

Lynden Coop Preschool, United Methodist Church, 500 N. 14th St., Lynden; 360-318-8030; vanmaaren@hotmail.com.

WCC Parenting Education programs have partnered with the Bellingham School District and offer preschools in two district elementary schools: Silver Beach Elementary and Sunnyland Elementary.

Parents pay a monthly tuition to their child’s cooperative preschool with WCC college tuition included in this fee. The monthly fee for the cooperative preschool parenting program varies from $125-$176 per month, depending on the age of your child and number of days he/she attends.

In the program, parents gain confidence and enhance parenting skills, share individual ideas and concerns about child-rearing, broaden their understanding of child development and acquire effective communication skills and child guidance strategies.

For children, the program cultivates a safe, stimulating environment to encourage a natural love of learning, provides a developmentally appropriate environment that promotes physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, and creates effective communicators and skilled problem-solvers by offering highly individualized attention and support.

For more information, go online to whatcom.ctc.edu/ or email Kristine Smith, WCC parenting education coordinator at ksmith@whatcom.ctc.edu.