Many of us are familiar with Bartlett Regional Hospital, but not everyone has heard of Bartlett Beginnings. Bartlett Beginnings is a program within the hospital that is dedicated to the health and safety of infants, toddlers and new families. They host several support and education groups for growing families including a Toddler Group which is a family support and child play group that meets weekly (check out the calendar tab on our website for the time and place!) They discuss a different topic every week using some evidence based information, but is largely intended as an opportunity for families to share their own experiences and talk through what had been challenging or successful for them. The meeting space has a variety of play areas and toys that the children interact with so they have multiple opportunities for parallel and interactive play, exposure to taking turns, and cooperation. They also have guest speakers from the community on special topics and community programs directed at families with young children. Previously, they have had speakers from the Infant Learning Program, Parents as Teachers, local Pediatric Dental offices, music programs and more come and talk with the families multiple times a year. Similarly, there is a Dads and Kiddos Group that meets monthly (also posted on our calendar). The intent and structure of that group is largely the same, but focused particularly on Dads and their children age 0-4.
The Perinatal Educators at the hospital have been trained in Circles of Security, a popular parenting class, and hope to offer two sessions this calendar year. Also, recently several staff participated in a Safe Kids sponsored Car Seat Tech training. Bartlett Beginnings now has 4 certified CPS Technicians. They plan to not only help ensure the safe travels of infants in our community, but also to participate in annual community car seat events that increase the safe transport of children of all ages.
Bartlett Beginnings works every day to increase parent knowledge and support in order to ensure health and safety for Juneau's infants and toddlers. Thank you Bartlett Beginnings for all that you do for our community's kids!