LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMC) – The Parenting Cottage was founded in Lubbock in 1982, and continues to adapt to the needs of the community, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the non-profit focuses on assisting and educating families during the journey as new parents, assisting parents during pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten.
“This generation of parents has more tools than any generation has ever had,” Executive Director Carla Olson says.
One of the largest programs offered is the home visitation program. A representative visits with the parents and child one-on-one and helps with screenings, school readiness and other developmental stages in a child’s life. But when COVID-19 hit, Olson says she and her staff asked how they could continue to serve families. So, many of their classes went virtual
“A computer screen is still not the same as that person-to-person connection, especially with the children,” Olson said.
Olson also said she recognizes their classes are playing an important role now more than ever, saying parents today are being challenged in a way they’ve never been challenged before and families must find a way to co-exist during the pandemic.
The Prenatal Education Classes and Parenting Education classes are still meeting in person with a reduced number of clients. Face masks are required and each desk is separated by a plexiglass partition. The staff at the Parenting Cottage is also working extra hard to make clients feel safe.
“We spend over an hour a day just cleaning surfaces in our building,” Olson says. “It’s a challenge to be in business right now.”
The only class that has been temporarily suspended is the Carseat Assistance program. It’s the only program of its kind in this part of the South Plains. They’re hoping the program can return in the coming months. To learn more about the other courses offered, you can visit www.theparentingcottage.com.