Over time, we have learned from families that the Children First experience can be not merely educational but actually transformational for families, and we are intentional about creating opportunities for families to immerse themselves in the philosophy that guides our work and the practices that animate it. Just as important, we want to encourage parents to learn from and support each other. In a typical year, our “Parent Education and Support” program includes…

  • Two fall workshops, one on “Parenting with Intention” and the other on “Respectful Parenting in Action.”
  • Monthly discussion groups, some on topics like Diversity, Siblings, or Children and Sexuality, and others focused on applying what we learned in earlier workshops to current issues in our families.
  • One on one parenting support as needed around particular challenges in a family.
  • Reading articles or books from our parent lending library.


Parents often report that a lot of their learning happens in those informal “on the deck” conferences with teachers and other parents around the particular parenting issues that are puzzling them on any given day. Likewise, many parents share that they learn from their volunteer time in the classroom, when they get to observe and absorb our teaching practices in real time, and try on our ways of speaking to and being with children.