Caregivers & Parents

The Caregivers and Parents Group (CAP) was formed in response to a need for parenting resources, services, and peer support expressed by WWU faculty and staff. Aligned with Goal 4, Objective D of the 2018-2025 WWU Strategic Plan, CAP aims to “implement and model practices to improve our recruitment and retention of diverse staff, faculty, and administration” by facilitating programming and conversations to increase the visibility of parental identities and experiences. Representatives from multiple backgrounds, genders, and family situations are invited to join the conversation as the committee moves forward with goals and action plans.

WWU Resources

Taking maternity/parental leave at WWU

Nursing Mothers Program

Western strongly supports employees and students who are nursing mothers, and understands the need for a private, secure, and clean space to express milk or nurse.

Shared Leave Program

Western is committed to supporting employees when they face difficult work/life issues that require the use of shared leave. Employees may also apply to receive shared leave for pregnancy disability and parental leave.

Dependent Care Assistance Program

The DCAP allows you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to help pay for qualifying child care or elder care expenses. To determine how much you want to contribute per pay period, estimate your expenses for the plan year and enroll in the DCAP for that amount. The money deducted is divided by the number of pay checks you will receive in the plan year.

DCAP contributions are limited to:

  • $5,000 annually for a single person or married couple filing a joint income tax return.
  • $2,500 annually for each married participant who files a separate income tax return

Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA):

The Medical FSA allows you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs. You cannot enroll in both a Medical FSA and a High deductible health plan with a health savings account (HSA). You can contribute a minimum amount of $240, up to a maximum annual amount of $2,650 for 2019.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP helps Washington State government employee and their adult family members resolve personal or work-related problems at no cost.


WWU Associated Students Child Development Center (CDC)

The WWU Associated Students Child Development Center (CDC) participates in the State's Early Achiever's Quality Rating and Improvement program. They provide high quality care and education for children of student parents and working professionals of Western Washington University. Tuition for student families is based on income and is subsidized by the Associated Students. The CDC serves 56 children ages 2-5 each quarter. The program manager and teaching staff provide a safe and healthy environment for young children, supporting the social/emotional, physical, and intellectual growth of each child.

The CDC also supports students interested in careers in early childhood education by providing a place for service learning projects, classroom observations, practicum and internship experiences as well as educational outreach activities. Parents benefit from special events for the entire family and participation in a parent advisory board. The CDC is not only child centered, but family centered, meeting the special needs of student parents and welcoming parent involvement in the center.

Caregiver & Parent Resources

If you have a resources suggestion for this page, please email CAP@wwu.edu with information about the resource, including a link for more information

Pregnancy and Parental Support

Bellingham Center for Healthy Motherhood (BCHM)

BCHM is a specialty health center providing women’s health care and comprehensive breastfeeding support and education.

Bellingham Technical college

Child and Family Studies (Childbirth preparation, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding and Parenting classes): BTC offers supportive, non-biased information on birthing, with the goal of presenting labor as a normal body process and offering you the most comprehensive information for a more fulfilling birthing experience. With short or longer childbirth courses, BTC aims to help you make informed, healthy choices as you prepare to have a child. The learning continues after your baby is born with BTC Parenting and Family Connections classes for infants and toddlers, and discussion classes for families of all ages. These classes offer a safe, inviting, relaxed atmosphere where you can meet other parents and caregivers, build relationships and find answers to parenting questions.

  • Parenting Education classes like Baby ‘N Me, Bringing Baby Home, Exploring with Toddlers, More Than One, and Raising School Age Children
  • Childbirth classes like Breastfeeding Basics & Beyond, Comfort Techniques for Labor & Birth, Pregnancy & Childbirth, and Preparation for Childbirth & Parenting.
Brigid Collins Family Support Center

Brigid Collins is a commitment-based organization causing the end of child abuse. For 25 years, they’ve been on the cutting edge of healing children and building strong families with resources for every family. Programs include:

  • Parenting Education
  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy
  • Just in Time Parenting Newsletter
  • Familia Latina
  • Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP)
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)
  • Kinship Caregiver Support Program
  • Incredible Years
  • Promoting First Relationships
  • Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)
Sign up for a free parenting newsletter (ages 0-3)
Rebound

Rebound works with families who are trying to recover and rebuild after experiencing the devastating effects of trauma.

  • Roots Family Enrichment Program offers classes for families that are facing difficult life circumstances and parents looking to develop family building skills.
  • Ray of Hope Summer Day Program is a 5 week summer day programs that offers arts & crafts, recreation, filed trips, and artistic enrichment.
Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic

For over 25 years the Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic has been dedicated to educating, equipping, and empowering individuals and families facing an unplanned pregnancy. They offer a compassionate and confidential environment for patients to be heard and to receive accurate information and medical care. All services are free.

  • Pregnancy Services
  • STI Testing- free testing for men and women.
  • Education- variety of evidence-based education programs to help learn more about pregnancy, labor and delivery, infant first-aid, and much more. Earn While You Learn and Childbirth education coming soon.
  • Support Groups- Looking to find community and support during the difficult times? They offer a safe place where you can share your story and gain compassionate support. Mother Support Group, Arms of Love, and Restoring a Man’s Heart.
For Men -
  • STD Testing
  • Earn While You Learn for Fathers/Partners
  • Restoring a Man’s Heart
Opportunity Council

The Opportunity Council is a private, non-profit Community Action Agency serving homeless and low- income families and individuals. Their mission is to help people improve their lives through education, support, and direct assistance while advocating for just and equitable communities. For 50 years, they have offered a broad scope of services that range from addressing immediate and crisis-oriented needs (food, emergency shelter, eviction prevention) to longer-term programs that promote self-sufficiency in our community (early childhood education, home weatherization).

Child Care Resources include:
  • Child Care Aware of NW Washington
  • Child Care Nutrition Program
  • Emergency Child Care Voucher
  • Kinship Care
  • Kaleidoscope Play and Learn Groups
  • Single Entry Access to Services (SEAS)
  • Early Support for Infants and Toddlers
  • ASL Services

Other resources for Preschool and education include

  • Early Head Start
  • ECEAP
Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHCN)

Whatcom County Health Department's CYSHCN staff works with community partners to improve the local system of care for children and youth with special needs. Their collective aim is that each family experiences coordinated family-centered care and support, regardless of their point of entry. Services provided directly by Health Department staff are conducted as part of Whatcom Taking Action.

Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) Program

WIC is for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children under 5 years of age. WIC helps improve the health of mothers and children through:

  • Nutrition education
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Monthly check for healthy food
  • Health screenings and refferals

Classes

Bellingham Technical College

Child and Family Studies (Childbirth preparation, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding and Parenting classes): BTC offers supportive, non-biased information on birthing, with the goal of presenting labor as a normal body process and offering you the most comprehensive information for a more fulfilling birthing experience. With short or longer childbirth courses, BTC aims to help you make informed, healthy choices as you prepare to have a child. The learning continues after your baby is born with BTC Parenting and Family Connections classes for infants and toddlers, and discussion classes for families of all ages. These classes offer a safe, inviting, relaxed atmosphere where you can meet other parents and caregivers, build relationships and find answers to parenting questions.

Parenting Education classes like Baby ‘N Me, Bringing Baby Home, Exploring with Toddlers, More Than One, and Raising School Age Children

Childbirth Classes like Breastfeeding Basics & Beyond, Comfort Techniques for Labor & Birth, Pregnancy & Childbirth, and Preparation for Childbirth & Parenting.

Brigid Collins Family Support Center

Offer a variety of programs for parents/caregivers.

Parenting Education - Brigid Collins offers a monthly series of parenting seminars for parents, grandparents, families and friends of children, aimed at supporting positive parenting and tackling tricky issues like managing children's anxiety and teaching responsibility. Classes include Power of Positive Parenting, Raising Confident, Competent Children, Myth Busters: The Truth About Teen Behavior, and Coping with Stress.

Doulas of Bellingham

Full-service doula agency that offers Childbirth classes

Earn While You Learn (EWYL)

Earn While You Learn (EWYL) is offered free of charge at the Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic in downtown Bellingham. EWYL provides education to pregnant and parenting women and their partners on topics such as pregnancy and childbirth, child development, parenting skills, goal-setting, healthy relationships, nutrition, and more. As participants cover these topics and meet personal goals, they earn Mommy Money and Daddy Dollars to spend on baby supplies in the Baby and Me Shoppe at the Clinic. For more information or to apply for the program, contact the Clinic at (360) 671-9057.

Bellingham OB/GYN and Family Care Network

Childbirth Education Classes for patients of Bellingham OB/GYN and Family Care Network

Whatcom Community College (WCC)

Through the Parenting Education Program, WCC offers parenting skills classes, parent-cooperative preschool classes and specialized programs to meet the changing needs of families

Whstcom Center for Early Learning (WCEL)

WCEL provides comprehensive, family centered early intervention services to children ages birth to three with developmental disabilities and delays.

Breastfeeding Resources

Whatcom County Breastfeeding Resources (pdf)

Bellingham Center for Healthy Motherhood (BCHM)

BCHM Is a specialty health center providing women’s health care and comprehensive breastfeeding support and education.

Bellingham Technical College

Child and Family Studies (Childbirth preparation, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding and Parenting classes): Breastfeeding and Beyond courses.

La Leche League of Whatcom County

La Leche League is an international nonprofit, nonsectarian service organization dedicated to helping mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, education, information and encouragement and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

Childcare

Child Care Aware

The Washington State Child Care Resource & Referral Network works in conjunction with the Division of Child Care and Early Learning to promote quality child care throughout Washington State. Please review the state site for information about childcare in your county, as well as other services for parents.

WWU Student Outreach Services

SOS provides a wide variety of support to non-traditional students including pregnant or parenting students.

Financial Assistance

Department of Social and Health Services

Within Reach - Connect families with resources to food, child development, and health care access. Also support communities with information regarding immunizations, breastfeeding, and policy work.

ParentHelp 123 - Parent Health 123 is Within Reach’s comprehensive informational website that connects families to different services and screens for First Steps, Basic Health, WIC, Basic Food, Children’s Health Insurance program and more. The “Benefit Finder” helps families determine their eligibility for programs and then actually fill out applications online for printing and sending. New features will be available in the fall.

Healthcare

Bellingham Birth Center - The only free-standing birth center north of Everett in Washington State, Bellingham Birth Center provides personalized, nurturing care in a homey, peaceful setting. It is a wonderful option for Bellingham residents as well as for those in the outlying areas.

Unity Care NW is a mission-driven community health center providing primary medical, dental, integrated behavioral health and pharmacy services. The main clinic is located in downtown Bellingham, with satellite offices in Pt. Roberts and Ferndale. Sliding fee scale is available based on household income.

Sea Mar Community Health Center - community-based organization committed to providing quality, comprehensive health and human services to diverse communities, specializing in service to Latinos.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center - St. Joseph Hospital’s staff welcomes approximately 2,000 new babies each year in the childbirth center. They provide comprehensive obstetrical services designed to meet the needs and expectations of women and their families. For more information on the childbirth center, scheduling a tour of the center, finding a physician, childbirth classes, parenting classes, and pregnancy and childbirth health review the St. Joseph Hospital website.

Answer Counseling - provides Counseling, Infant Case Management, Maternity Support Services and Promoting First Relationships. Their focus is working with infants, children and families with children from birth to five years of age utilizing an evidenced based approach.

WWU Counseling, Health & Wellness Services

WWU Counseling, Health & Wellness Services offers a wide variety of health-related services.

Health Insurance

Washington Health Plan Finder

Housing

Bellingham & Whatcom county Housing Authorities

Bellingham Housing Authority and the Whatcom County Housing Authority work together to provide needed housing in the community.

Lighthouse Mission

Lighthouse Mission works throughout Whatcom County to break the cycle of homelessness.

The Agape Women’s and Children’s Home and an additional shelter can accommodate pregnant women or women and children, offering both emergency shelter and transitional housing.

New Way Ministries

New Way Ministries offer housing for Lynden women with unplanned pregnancies.

Lydia place

Lydia Place - offers housing support for women and children.

NW Youth Services

NW Youth Services offers emergency, transitional, and permanent housing support for youth.

YWCA

YWCA - provides transitional housing for women.

Opportunity Council

Opportunity Council - provides transitional housing and information on homeless housing and prevention.

Activities for Families

Perch and Play

Wild Whatcom

Bellingham Public Library - Child and Teen Events

Bellingham Bay Gymnastics - Toddler and Child classes

The Inner Child Studio

Whatcom County Libraries – Child Events

Whatcom County Libraries – Teen Events

Fitness

FIT4MOM is the nation’s leading pre-natal and postnatal fitness program, providing fitness classes and a network of moms to support every state of motherhood. From pregnancy, through postpartum and beyond, their fitness and wellness programs help make moms strong in body, mind, and spirit. Classes include Fit4Baby, Stroller Barre, Stroller Strides, Body Back, and Run Club.

Glow fitness

Glow Fitness is women’s only in-home personal training service. They also specialize in prenatal and postnatal health & wellness. Classes include Mom & Baby Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Prenatal Circuits & Core and Mom & Baby Low-Impact Kettlebells.

30msYoga

30msYoga offers Mom & Baby yoga and prenatal yoga, classes

Oh Baby! Fitness

Oh Baby! Fitness offers pregnancy and mom & baby exercise classes across the country (available in Seattle).

Support Groups

Parent to Parent

The Parent to Parent Support Programs provide emotional support and information to families of children with developmental disabilities, delays and ongoing health care needs.

Bellingham Moms for Moms

Bellingham Moms for Moms is an online community to connect with our local mothers.

Other

Share the Love - Cloth Diaper Bank

Cloth diaper loaner bank for low income families with children birth to 3 years. Families qualify if they receive any form of government assistance, including apple health for kids.

Skookum kids

Skookum kids is a foster care based charity whose mission is make it easier for foster parents and social workers. They offer a variety of programs and services:

  • Classes from Tips & Tricks for Lice to Foster Care in the Courts.
  • Skookum House Program
  • Perch & Play
  • Advocacy work
Whatcom Family and Community Network

WFCN's mission is to build the capacity of communities and organization in Whatcom county to support children, youth, and families so that they can develop the skills and opportunities they need to lead healthy, productive lives. They aim to prevent child abuse and neglect, youth substance abuse and violence, and to support school success through community change and capacity building efforts.

Whatcom Homeschool association

Whatcom Homeschool Association is a network of over four hundred families supporting each other in the adventure of homeschooling in Whatcom County.

Mental Health

Perinatal Support of Washington

The Postpartum Stress Center

Mobile Mama Therapy

Pregnancy Loss Support

Abortion Changes You

AbortionChangesYou.com is a safe place to participate in interactive content, explore the experiences of others and connect with local support resources.

Forgiven & Set Free After Abortion Study Group

FSF groups are based at the Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic. Contact the Clinic to find out when the next group begins or to sign up.

Share, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc.

Miscarriage information and support.

Recommended Reading Resource For After Abortion

Take This Heart of Stone
By Carol Thomas

Popular Pregnancy & Parenting Books

William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN have co-authored numerous books on pregnancy and parenting including The Pregnancy Book, The Birth Book, and The Baby Book. For more information: www.AskDrSears.com

Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation By Pam England CNM, MA & Rob Horowitz PhD

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised)
By Sheila Kitzinger

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy
By Vicki Iovine

Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
By Penny Simkin PT, Janet Whalley RN, BSN, and Ann Keppler RN, MN

What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Third Edition
By Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway

Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes

Take Daily as Needed by Kathryn Trueblood

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin



Eldercare Resources

Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging serves the people island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom Counties who are older or who need long term care. They fund or provide flexible service options with:

  • Aging & Disability Resources
  • Caregiver Support & Respite
  • In-home Personal Care
  • Volunteer Chore
  • Medicaid Transportation
  • Case Management
  • Tribal Outreach
  • Legal Services
Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)

In addition to providing assistance with food, housing, child support, youth services, mental health, and disability support, DSHS provides support for adult care, which includes:

  • Caregiver support
  • Elder abuse/neglect
  • Long term care assistance
Palliative Care Institute

Other Resources

Better Health While Aging

Better Health While Aging is a health and caregiving education website that provides practical, actionable information for older adults and family caregivers.

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation provides military and veteran caregivers the support they need at the local, state, and national levels. These programs engage individuals, organizations, and communities across the country to get involved and make a difference in the lives of military caregivers.

The Kathi Koll Foundation

The Kathi Koll Foundation supports family caregivers in need by offering subsidies for struggling caregivers, and a community education program geared toward helping caregivers navigate through the various challenges that can arise while caregiving.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Alzheimer's Association

Learn more about us

The group is still in development, but if you are interested in joining or learning more about the

Email the Caregivers & Parents group.