Parenting Education Programs

Home Visiting Services offer parents support and information from trained professionals, such as nurses or parent educators. Appointments occur in your home or any comfortable meeting place that is requested by the family. Millage-funded Home Visiting programs include: 

  • Funding expands Cherry Health’s Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) that offers support for new and expecting parents. Programming adds nutrition and lactation consultation services, to improve maternal health outcomes and new parent well-being. Services can be offered in the home, office, or community setting.
  • The Early Childhood Attachment program at D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s serves caregivers and their young children to strengthen the parent-child relationship and promote healthy development. This service facilitates opportunities for parent-child interaction and play, guidance concerning child development, and supportive counseling. This service is helpful for biological, foster, kinship, and adoptive families.
  • Kent County Healthy Families focuses on addressing risk factors, promoting positive parent-child interaction, making connections to resources, and providing child development, and positive parenting practices education. Families are screened for several types of risk, including lead exposure, maternal depression/perinatal mood disorders, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and trauma. Families establish individualized goals as a part of the program. This home-visiting service is brought to you by Family Futures.
  • MomsBloom's Postpartum Support program provides hands-on and emotional support to parents during the first six weeks after they bring home a newborn. 
  • Kent ISD’s Bright Beginnings Home Visiting program provides proven methods that help caregivers understand their child’s early development, identify possible developmental concerns, and build a foundation for later academic success.
  • Baby Scholars is an 11-week home visiting program designed to support parents as they teach their children, specifically African American and Latinx families with children 5-48 months old. A certified Parent Coach will come to the home weekly and show how positive parent and child interactions can help the baby’s language, social, and brain development.
  • Strong Beginnings offers support, education, discussion groups, counseling, breastfeeding cafes. and referrals for pregnant and postpartum Black and Latinx persons to promote racial equity in maternal and child health. A fatherhood initiative offers services to male partners. Services are offered at home or other locations convenient to clients by racially and culturally responsive community health workers.
  • The Little Scholars Program, brought to you by Vibrant Futures, is a one-on-one coaching service for parents and caregivers with young children in their homes. Little Scholars focuses on supporting parents and caregivers in understanding the power of responsive parenting, providing positive interactions and knowledge of their child’s development.

Child Safety Initiatives support child safety – specifically safe sleep and car safety -- for children from birth to five years of age who live in Kent County and meet household income requirements.

  • Bethany’s Child Safety Initiative provides one-on-one parent safety education to the culturally diverse families they serve, focusing on safe sleep and car seat safety. Bethany can provide approved pack-n-plays and car seats to eligible parents who receive individual consultation.
  • Cherry Health’s Child Safety Program offers parents with young children the resources and education they need to ensure safe transportation and safe sleep. A Community Health Worker who is part of Cherry Health’s Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) coordinates this program and provides one-on-one, personalized instruction to families on how to properly use age-appropriate car seats and cribs. 

Translation and Interpretation Services

Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage funds translation and interpretation for programs supported by the millage. Bethany Christian Services and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan provide written translation and interpreters for phone and video calls with families or in-person meetings.

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