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Allgean County Great Start Families Connected

Newsletter - June 2021

Great Start Families Connected

Come chat with other parents and caregivers about self-care and important parenting topics. You will gain positive social connections and support from others! Bring a cup of coffee and talk about whatever is on your mind! Previous Coffee Chats have been very informal and parent led. We swap ideas, give friendly advice, and support one another. Feel free to come to both Coffee Chats as they are both have different starter topics! Please join us even if you can only stay for 15 minutes! We love to laugh, smile, and have fun!
We welcome all parents, caregivers, and grandparents with children (ages prenatal - 12 years old) to join us. We are offering a $10/$10 Referral Gift Card Giveaway*!
At previous Coffee Chats, we have talked about different ideas and given each other parenting advice regarding developmental milestones, breaking negative habits, and behavioral support. We have also supported one another during this difficult pandemic as an informal parent/caregiver support group.

Join both chats via Zoom here:

Join Our Allegan County Families Facebook Group!
Join our Facebook group to view future events, newsletters, early childhood activities, parenting and self-care tips. It is also a place to connect with other parents, caregivers, and grandparents locally!
Take Our Families Connected Survey!
Click here to take our short Families Connected survey to help decide days, times, and topics for future meetings!


Help Me Grow Website Feedback Requested

Help Me Grow Allegan is requesting feedback from YOU on how easy our website is to use. We are looking for areas of improvement, so we can better serve the needs of our community. The survey should take only a minute or two to complete. We thank you for your time!

You can sign your child up for kindergarten by clicking on the appropriate school link below or calling the phone numbers listed for Wayland Union Schools. If you are unsure of which school district you reside in please call 
(269) 512-7775 for further assistance. 
  • Baker Elementary: (269) 782-9208
  • Dorr Elementary: (269) 681-9637

2021-2022 Preschool and Head Start Registration

To see if your child qualifies for any programming above or below visit:
or call (269) 512-7775

Parent Workshops & Webinars


Allegan County Community Mental Health
Parent Support Group - Tuesday, June 8th @ 7pm to 8pm
Adult Mental Health First Aid - Monday, June 21st @ 9am to 11:30pm AND Wednesday, June 23rd @ 9am-11am

Arbor Circle
Nurturing Parent Class - Wednesdays, April 14th to June 16th @ 1pm-2:30pm
Parenting Series: Encouragement - Monday, June 7th @ 8pm-9pm
Period of Purple Crying - Wednesday, June 9th @ 9am-11am
Potty Training Series Part 2 - Monday, June 14th @ 8pm-9pm

Michigan State University Extension
MSU Extension's Facebook Page for LIVE events
Guiding Principles for Highly Successful Parenting Series - Tuesdays, June 1st-June 29th
Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Toddlers - Tuesday, June 1st @ 8pm-9pm
The Parent Talk System Series - Mondays, June 7th-July 19th 
How Children Develop - Tuesday, June 8th @ 8pm to 9:30pm
Resilience Toolbox - Tuesday, June 15th @ 8pm to 9:30pm
What Children Need to Know to Start School - Tuesday, June 22nd @ 8pm to 9:30pm
Screen Time for Young Children - Tuesday, June 29th @ 8pm to 9:30pm

June is Potty Training Awareness Month!

Here are some tips for Potty Training, whether you are working on it now or plan to in the future with your child!

Toilet Training - Kids Health
Here is information on when kids are ready to potty train, how long potty training takes, types of potties, training pants, tips for toilet training, and common toilet training problems.


Wait for signs: Your toddler has to be ready to start potty training. If not, you’re setting yourselves up for a world of frustration. When your little one starts talking about it more, showing interest in the toilet or letting you know when they’ve just gone (or even better – just about to go), then you’re in the zone. They’ll let you know when they’re ready to go.

Ignore timelines: You’ve seen them – all the potty training tips that promise the secret to potty training in one week, or one weekend, or even three days. Don’t try to measure up to any random timeline or unreasonable standard. Prepare for the long haul. Your toddler will get there, and you’ll be right there to help.

Watch, do and learn: Potty training for kids is full of new rituals they don’t understand yet: What’s the handle for? Why is there a roll of paper? You know by now that kids love to explore new things to the fullest. Help them out. Sit with them. Show them how it works. The more comfortable they see you are, the more comfortable they’ll be, too.

Incentivize: Kids are very motivated with small rewards. When you celebrate successes right away, you’re showing positive reinforcement that encourages kids to repeat that behavior. There are plenty of rewards to be won that don’t include sugar. Think stickers, books or other inexpensive trinkets that are valuable to them.

Exaggerate praise: Small victories can be huge steps toward diaper-less days ahead. Go ahead and show them this is a big deal, because it is. Heap on the extra hugs, the kisses and the congratulations. They need to understand they’re accomplishing something. If (when) they miss the mark, you need to stay positive about that, too. You’ll get there together, and they need to see you’re excited.

Read all about it: Incorporate some potty training books into story time. You’ll find lots of good books out there that break it down. Books about potty training also help your little one ask questions they might not otherwise think to ask.

Keep checking: Invest a concentrated amount of time where you visit the restroom together many, many times. When they have plenty of opportunities to keep trying, eventually they’re bound to see what it’s all about and take more steps in the right direction.

Real undies first: Kids like feeling dry bottoms. Wet bottoms are uncomfortable and lead to diaper rash. Try applying a barrier of diaper rash ointment or spray, then putting on some “big kid” underwear underneath a diaper. They’ll know what it's like to be wet, and understand that’s not a good feeling, but you’ll protect their skin as well as furniture and clothes. Just be sure you check often and don’t let them stay wet for long.

June is National Safety Month!

For the month of June, we are celebrating all things related to safety! Kids Health is a great website for parents, teens, children, and educators to get great information on various topics!

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Copyright © 2021 Help Me Grow Allegan, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
310 Thomas Street,
Allegan, MI 49010

For questions, contact:
Stormie Drake
Great Start Parent Liaison
(269) 512-7747

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Help Me Grow · 310 Thomas St · Allegan, MI 49010-9158 · USA

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