Parent-Child Enrichment Program

Build parenting skills and strengthen bonds in Simi Valley

Parents — especially new parents — often feel they should instinctively possess all the knowledge of the ages regarding how to raise their children. Through trial and error, parents will often come to face the reality that automatic parenting is a myth and some additional skills on developing the relationship between parent and child would be of considerable help.

The parent-child enrichment program at Adventist Health Simi Valley — offered through the Child Development Center — has been designed to give moms and dads that extra edge needed to be successful at building parenting skills and to deepen the relationship with their child through play and exploration. These interactions with parents enhance the ability of the child to problem-solve and to progress forward in their development.

"The primary focus of the parent-child enrichment program is on the parent," says Robin Millar, Child Development Center director. "Although we use toys and equipment to build the child's relationship with mom and dad, the program supports parents by helping them develop their own philosophy of parenting."

The program encourages parents to respect their child's nature and individual temperament, and to slow down and "be present" in the moment for their child’s development. Sharing of experiences is also a central theme, as group discussion with students and instructors is a part of the parent-child enrichment program.

A key part of the program is the playful environment of PlaySpace, a spacious 3,500-square-foot children's wonderland. PlaySpace offers computers, swings, trains, bicycles, arts and crafts, dress-up clothes, and other fun stuff to assist with providing sensory-motor experiences for both parent and child.

Small class sizes and a staff of Child Development Center experts who are trained in the fields of speech and language development, sensory motor integration, education, physical and occupation therapies and psychology are all core to the program's success.

For more information or to enroll in Adventist Health Simi Valley's parent-child enrichment program, please call Patricia VanBruskirk, the parent-child enrichment program coordinator, at (805) 955-7137.