The Cornell Cooperative Extension Oo Suffolk County continues to host a series of supportive “Parent Cafés” at four locations.

Parent Cafe, a free program that provides research-backed advice and guidance to young families in Suffolk County to promote the health and wellbeing of infants and toddlers, will be held July-September in Selden, Gulf Shores, Bohemia and Riverhead runs and features virtual shows during that period.

The initiative, “The First Five Years: Improving the Health of Mothers and Their Babies Through Parent and Nutrition Education,” is sponsored by the Community Education Program at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Center in Suffolk County (CCE Suffolk) and co-authored by Cabo Mother Lini funded the Health Foundation.

Expert speakers, including parent educators, nutrition educators, lactation consultants and others, offer parenting advice over a light breakfast in a supportive environment.

The next Parents Cafe will be held at the Midlands Public Library in Selden:

  • July 21: Positive Discipline

  • July 28: Coping with temper tantrums

  • September 8: Nutrition for Toddlers (2-3 Years)

  • September 15: Nutrition for Preschoolers (4-5 Years)

  • September 22: Feeding a family on a tight budget

  • September 29: Breastfeeding Q&A

Other on-site parent cafes will be hosted at the Family Services Union in Bay Shore, the Connetquot Public Library in Bohemia and the CCE Suffolk headquarters in Riverhead. All parent-child cafes offer free childcare.

The program is also offering virtual programming via Zoom.

“The primary responsibility of parents is to develop healthy, capable and responsible members of society,” said Vanessa Lockel, executive director of CCE Suffolk. “However, many lack support and receive conflicting parenting advice. The Parent Café enables educators to create a space where parents can mingle, have breakfast and benefit from the latest parenting education.

“This innovative program offers a holistic approach to education that integrates parenting, nutrition and breastfeeding education,” she said. “The environment also provides a safe and welcoming environment that addresses the challenges that pregnant and new mothers often face.”

Ms. Rocker expressed her gratitude to the Cabrini Mother’s Health Foundation for funding the Parent Cafe project.

“It’s important for parents to find a supportive environment where they can share their concerns and learn valuable parenting skills,” said Kerri Reda, human development specialist at CCE’s Suffolk Community Education Program. “This program and its resources, staffed by sensitive parent education experts, have been invaluable to young families in Suffolk County.”

CCE Suffolk said today’s parents especially needed research-based information, skills development and support, as many traditional supports – such as extended families, cohesive communities, income security and community service – were often in decline. In addition, various demographic, cultural and social dynamics often exacerbate the challenges many parents face.

this National Parent-child Education Network Says parenting education supports the health, safety, well-being and economic success of children as adults.

Report from the Department of Health and Human ServicesChild and Family Management Point out that parent education reduces the risk of child abuse and neglect by encouraging parenting practices that promote the safety, well-being and perpetuation of children and families.

a study Oregon State UniversityStudies have found that schools where parents attend have higher grades, fewer behavioral problems, fewer substance use problems, improved mental health and greater social skills.

The Cabrini Mothers’ Health Foundation is one of the largest foundations in the United States and the largest foundation in New York State focused solely on health care. The organization provides grants to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged New Yorkers, advance health outcomes in diverse communities, remove barriers to care, and close health service disparities.

Inquiries about the Parent Cafe can be directed to Christina Nadolne at

About the Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension:

Founded in 1917, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Center of Suffolk County (CCE Suffolk) is a not-for-profit community educational organization dedicated to conserving the county’s agricultural resources, marine life, protecting our ecosystems, supporting families, and Youth provide community service opportunities and advance research-based education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

CCE Suffolk, affiliated with Cornell University and part of the national land-grant university system, has a staff of educators, researchers, experts and support staff dedicated to making Suffolk County a great place to live and work.

CCE Suffolk is an affiliated government agency with an educational mission operating under an organizational model approved by Cornell University as an agency of the State of New York.

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