Parenting Skills Training

The greater mission of the Collaboration for Early Childhood is to improve outcomes for children under five years of age, but we cannot forget that children live in families. When parents and caregivers learn new parenting skills, their children benefit. We engage Oak Park and River Forest parents and caregivers in opportunities to promote healthy development in their children through different forms of tools and training to grow parenting skills.   

The Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Monthly Parent Workshops range from crash-courses in potty training, to cooking with kids. A wide variety of community partners host these workshops, which offer parents and caregivers ongoing opportunities to learn new ways to be their child’s first and most important teacher. Parent Workshops are open to all Oak Park and River Forest parents and are free. To see what workshops are coming up, view the Parenting Resource Program Community Calendar on the Parenting Resource Program page, or visit our events page.

The Chicago Parent Program, hosted in partnership with Easterseals, is for parents and caregivers of children ages 2-5 to develop parenting strategies and skillsLed by community partners, the workshop series helps parents be the best parent they can be and, in the process, promote healthy development in their children. Over the course of the 12 weekly workshops, parents learn to clarify what they truly value as a caregiver and identify the behaviors they want to reinforce in their children. Participants in the Chicago Parent Program acquire a range of strategies and gain parenting confidence while also meeting and learning from other parents and caregivers raising young children in the community. Child care is provided at each session. To learn more about The Chicago Parent Program and how to join the next session, complete the form at the bottom of this page.  

Ready4K Text Service. Developed by educational researchers, Ready4K is a free, evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text message. Each week, parents receive fun facts and easy tips on how to promote their children’s development by building on existing routines – like pointing out the letters on shampoo bottles during bath time and naming their sounds. The Ready4K curriculum covers the whole child starting at birth. The curriculum will continue to change as your child continues to grow and develop. Text messages are available in Arabic, English, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. This is a completely free service for families in Oak Park and River Forest (text messaging rates apply). Learn more about Ready4K or:

For families that require additional support, the Collaboration, in partnership with home visiting programs and the Village of Oak Park’s Public Health Nurse, work together to make sure families get connected to a program through a single point of entry. If you are interested in learning more about any of the opportunities listed on this page, fill out the form below.  

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Be your child's first and most important teacher.