5 amazing local resources for parents (that you may never have heard of)

September 3, 2014

The Quad Cities are a wonderful place to live. We have many big city amenities, but with a small town feel. 

 

Many of us agree that it's a great place to raise a family.

Now it's time to add another great reason to live here - all the awesome resources available to caregivers. 

 

But how do we access these great resources if we don't know about them?

 

Here are five hidden gems - resources that are great for all parents. (And if you have ideas of other hidden gems for caregivers, we hope you'll share them in the comments below.)

 

The best part of these resources is that you can find out more with just a few clicks of your mouse. 

 

Get the support you need. Right now.

Parent Pals believes that finding help as a parent should be easy. (And we agree!)

 

To make parenting a bit easier, one call to Parent Pals can get you matched with free local support that fits your individual family. This includes a sympathetic person to listen - and more.

 

Caregivers can receive parenting tips, developmental screening, car seat installation help, and more. In short, the organization helps you find many of the services you need (and even those you may not even know you need - yet).

 

Visit Parent Pals online or call 1-855-BeMyPal.

 

Free tips for your child - right to your email box.

The Just in Time Parenting Program through Iowa State University Extension provides research-based information to help your children thrive. 

 

Sign up for the free enewsletters that share age-appropriate information for your child.

 

On-the-go and email isn't your thing? If you are expecting your first child, Text4Baby offers free text messages sent right to your phone with information to help support a healthy pregnancy! 

 

For even more online and downloadable resources check out our online resource page

 

One stop to find the best child care provider.

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral helps parents find child care provider to meet the family's needs and provide tools to identify quality child care.

 

Visit Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral or Child Care Resources and Referral of Midwestern Illinois to learn more, or call 563-324-3236.

 

Discover some new tools for your parenting tool box. 

The Parenting Tool Box from the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is a wonderful place to learn about your child's development and find ideas to help your child grow and learn. (The downloadable developmental age and tips for challenging behavior guides are just plain awesome.)

 

Iowa Early ACCESS program connects Iowa caregivers with free developmental screenings for their children. Find contacts for local offices for screenings at the Early ACCESS website.

 

In Illinois, developmental screenings are held by the  Early Childhood Coalition in partnership with the AOK Network, Regional Office of Education and the local LIC. Learn more and check out their calendar online. If you have concerns about your child's development, call Child and Family Connections at 1-866-426-2160. 

 

Get children excited to read.

Reading to a child regularly is one of the easiest ways to prepare him or her for success in school. With Imagination Library, reading is made even more simple and fun!

 

All children from birth to five can request an age-appropriate book be mailed to their home each month at no cost to the family. (This program is open to all children living in Rock Island or Scott Counties, regardless of income.)

 

Sign up your child to receive a free book every month from United Way of the Quad Cities.

 

Looking for books for a specific developmental stage? Trying to find a resource to talk to your children about sensitive topics? Check our our book lists for ideas

 

As a parent, there is nothing shameful about asking for help and learning more about your child (and yourself). Connecting with local resources is a great way to get the support you need as a caregiver. 

 

And this means you can do more for your kids - which is exactly what we all want.

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