The Howard County Family Institute is an education, information and community outreach program of the Office of Children and Families, Department of Community Resources and Services. Our Mission is to assist parents in their parenting role by providing education that enhances caregiver skills, knowledge, and behavior with a vision that all children will start life with a strong foundation. We offer classes, workshops, and informational sessions for parents on many topics, including child development, positive discipline, school readiness, and finding resources. To suggest topics for future workshops or to learn more, please email [email protected] or call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay).  Workshops can also be created or tailored to meet your group’s needs. Submit an On-Site Request Form to the Family Engagement Specialist, at [email protected].

Additional Programs
Family Institute Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

* For assistance with registering, call 410-313-5992 (voice/ relay) or email [email protected]

* To request sign language, interpreter or other accommodations to attend, call at least one week in advance.

Grow with Baby! Hatchlings: In the Nest

Mondays: April 17, 24, May 1, 8 / 11:00 a.m.to 12:00 p.m. / 9830 Patuxent Woods Dr, Columbia 21046/ Free Workshop, Register here
This program is designed for parents of babies six months of age and younger. Join us with your baby for this informative and fun early literacy program, complete with songs and engaging activities. Participants are encouraged to attend each session of this four-week program and will receive a free take-home gift each week.

Eat, Learn Grow for Families – Social Emotional Development

Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

This workshop will focus on Early Learning Literacy and Social Emotional Development.  Join us as we explore social emotional development, developmental milestones as well as the skills children need to manage emotions and build relationships with others. Join us as we explore children’s literature and simple extension activities that promote problem solving, conflict resolution, managing stress, and overall social emotional development at home. 

Early Intervention- Finding the Help Your Child Needs

Thursday, April 20,  7 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Free Virtual Workshop. Register here
Worrying that your child might be falling behind or having a pediatrician or child care provider raise a concern that they are developmentally delayed can be a very concerning prospect. Many parents are unclear of where to go, what to do or what getting their child screened means. This can lead to a wait and see approach that defers timely assistance. Early intervention is the proven best approach to helping children. Attend this session to learn about the free steps for assessment and evaluation with early childhood early intervention programs and options for eligible children and families. This is for families of children birth to five.


Parenting with Empathy

Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand the feelings of others. Join us in this virtual workshop as we explore empathy and discuss ways you can spark empathy in your child through everyday interactions. This is geared for caregivers of children birth to five.


Navigating Your Child’s Mental Health Journey Presenters

Monday, May 8, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Whether it is knowing the best ways to support your child’s social emotional health, having concerns about your child’s behaviors, or feeling like something is seriously wrong, knowing where to go for answers is a top issue for parents. Those first steps of navigating mental health supports are a challenging and daunting task. Come to this presentation to learn about the stages of mental health and the local resources and supports that will guide your understanding, provide you with choices, and help you learn the steps to start helping your child. Leave with tangible tools for education and intervention as well as where to go for assistance if you hit roadblocks to services.


Developing your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

Wednesday, May 17 , 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

A critical skill for children to learn and a top skill kindergarten teachers look for in students is emotional intelligence. Children who have developed emotional intelligence can be seen as those with good listening skills, accept criticism and responsibility, solve problems, move on after making a mistake, and have empathy for others. Attend this workshop to learn successful practices and the tools you need to support your child’s social-emotional development in the early years. Explore the meaning of emotional literacy and learn practical strategies to teach children how to recognize and label emotions as well as appropriate ways to manage those big emotions. 



Parent Pages

The Parent Pages newsletter is published by the Howard County Office of Children and Families for parents, caregivers, and agencies working with families. Distributed via Constant Contact, each monthly issue features information to help parents and caregivers learn more about positive parenting and  children’s development. It highlights workshops, local resources, events, parenting information, and agency programs targeted to help families grow and thrive in Howard County.

This newsletter is a part of the Howard County Family Institute, an education, information and community outreach program. To request the Parent Pages in an alternate format, call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay.)

The Basics

The Basics movement aims to help every family help every child reach their potential. To learn about The Basics Howard County, watch this overview video for an introduction to the five fun, simple and powerful ways to boost early brain development and learning for all children from birth to age five.

Launch Into Learning

Launch Into Learning is a campaign supported by the Howard County Early Childhood Advisory Council (HCECAC). The goal of HCECAC is to highlight the importance of the early years, for parents and families in particular, but also for early care and education professionals, and other community stakeholders.

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