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Grants for Parenting Classes

by Erica Loop, studioD

Whether you want to brush up on your baby IQ before the big day, are looking for more information on child development and behavior or are in need of a workshop that fulfills a court order, parenting classes can help you to make the most of your child-rearing days. If you are keen to take or even just start a class, but the cost is prohibitive, grants for parenting education courses can help to ease the financial burden.

Parenting Class Basics

Before starting on your search for grants to fund your parenting class choices, it's key to understand what is -- and isn't -- covered under this category. Classes for your child such as tot gym and dance programs aren't parenting classes. Even if the class is a mommy and me or parent-child arrangement, it doesn't constitute parental education. Instead, parent education classes -- according to the judicial branch of the state of Connecticut -- include courses and seminars that help adults to learn about child development, discipline and dealing with changes or stressors such as divorce. Additionally, parent classes can help you to prepare for a new stage of life, such as how to take care of a newborn baby, cover topics relating to a specific concern, such as defiance, or include a school-elated concern.

Program Grants

Not all parenting education class grants go directly to the participants. If you want to take one of the courses but can't afford the cost, looking for a program that is grant-funded may fit the bill. Grant-funded parenting programs use their funding to pass on the savings to the participants. Instead of charging full price, a grant-funded program may have the ability to provide low- or no-cost classes to parents in need. For example, the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative is a funding program that provides grants to local partners, who in turn offer affordable parenting classes to individuals. Many non-profit parenting programs at local community centers and women's health organizations are grant-funded, receiving money from an array of sources, ranging from the state government to private donors and corporations.

Parent-Teacher Grants

Some state and national organizations fund parenting classes for parent-teacher school organizations. These grants can help the organizations to bring in educational speakers, develop parenting workshops or offer seminars for free. For example, the California State PTA offers grants to in-state parent-teacher associations that range between $500 and $2,000 for parent education programs, workshops and classes. The National PTA also offers grants for parenting education. PTA groups from around the country can apply for funds that go to specific programs, such as the Healthy Lifestyles Grant. This grant funds parent education programs that focus on healthy eating, nutrition and similar child lifestyle concerns.

Types of Classes

Grant-funded classes include a variety of different parenting programs, depending on the availability in your area. For example, the Readiness to Learn Foundation uses government grants to fund completely free parenting classes in Washington state, including positive discipline, co-parenting, bullying and parenting preteens. Mothers who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are unsure as to what to do next can benefit from the advice and information that an abortion alternatives parenting class, such as the one that the Minnesota Department of Health's state-funded program offers. This type of class, unlike a parenting class that covers more child development-related topics, includes content on medical care, finding support and locating financial assistance.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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