Resources for Expectant and New Parents
If you are a new parent through adoption or foster care, please visit the General Parenting Resources section for assistance.
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, visit the Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County.
The Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County provides information to help you before, during, and after pregnancy. You’ll find information about nutrition, financial planning, pregnancy support, breastfeeding, and much more.
Breastfeeding protects young children from illness and helps with children’s brain development. It also encourages bonding between mother and child.
Well baby visits offer healthcare check ups and immunizations for infants and toddlers. These visits help keep track of your baby’s health, growth, and development.
For more information on health insurance or health care resources, visit our Health Care page.
First 5 Santa Cruz County’s Baby Gateway Newborn Enrollment Program is making sure that all newborns in our county have health coverage. The main goal of the program is to establish a seamless Medi-Cal coverage process for Medi-Cal eligible newborns and to link those newborns to a medical home, all before they leave the hospital. Newborn Enrollment Coordinators are on site at local Prenatal Units (Dominican, Sutter, and Watsonville Hospitals) 5 days per week to help enroll eligible infants into Medi-Cal.
The Newborn Enrollment Coordinator (NEC) assists with:
- Enrolling a MC covered mother’s newborn into MC.
Form completed allows the newborn to access full-scope MC coverage for one year.
- Adding the newborn to the family’s existing CalFresh case.
- Connecting the newborn to a Primary Care Physician.
- Helping new moms make their baby’s first well visit appointment.
NEC keeps an updated list of doctors who are accepting new MC patients.
The Newborn Enrollment Coordinator provides mom with:
- Baby’s First Appointment card. This card is given to confirm that MC paperwork was completed at the hospital.
- First 5 Kit for New Parents. All mothers (with MC and Privately Insured) will receive Kit for New Parents. Kit provides book, “What To Do When Your Baby Gets Sick,” and informational flyers about Lead, Poison Control, Paid Family Leave, Immunizations, Triple P, 211, Text 4 Baby, Health Insurance, Oral Health, WIC and Talk. Read. Sing
How can you help?
- Advise MC mothers that the NEC will visit them in their room before they are discharged to link their newborn to their MC case.
- If mom is discharged on the weekend, please advise her that she will get a call from NEC to fill out paperwork over the phone. You can also provide mom with NEC’s phone number. (See below)
- If mom plans to deliver at Sutter, advise mom that she must sign consent at admitting to be able to be seen by NEC.
For questions regarding an enrollment completed at:
- Watsonville Community Hospital: Call Laura Sotelo (NEC) at (831)761-5670
- Dominican Hospital and Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center: Call Alicia Zenteno (NEC) at (831) 465-2210
- All other questions: Call Alicia Fernandez (Health Outreach and Enrollment Manager) at (831) 465-2209 or email [email protected]
Parenting Concerns - Development
Have questions or concerns about your child ‘s development?
Triple P Santa Cruz County provides families with strategies for:
-Strengthening relationships with their children
-Promoting children’s development
-Preventing or managing common parenting challenges (e.g. tantrums, sibling rivalry, homework, bullying, bedtime, communicating with teens, and more.)
Services are available to families with children from birth to 16 years of age and children with special needs.
Seminars – A series of three classes that provide an introduction to Triple P positive parenting strategies.
Workshops – One-time classes on specific parenting topics.
Individual Sessions – Brief and targeted support for specific parenting issues (1-4 sessions). Or, in-depth support and coaching covering a broad array of parenting strategies (10+ sessions).
Groups – Brief and targeted group support for specific parenting issues (3-4 classes). Or, in-depth group support and coaching covering a broad array of parenting strategies (8+ classes).
Specialized Parenting Support – Additional help for other family issues that affect parenting (e.g. coping skills, co-parenting, communication between parenting partners, anger management, making healthy lifestyle changes as a family).
(pdcrcc.org/at-a-glance) provides parenting and adult education throughout Santa Cruz (and Monterey County). Our mission is to support our community of families, schools, and service providers in learning how to have respectful relationships through mindfulness, self-regulation, effective communication, cooperation and most importantly self-care. Our work is based on the values of mutual respect, dignity, personal responsibility, interconnectivity, curiosity and problem-solving. We ALL do better when we feel better, and this applies especially so, to children. We do not promote punitive practices and instead place our focus on fostering belonging and significance for all! We can help bridge the gap between the problems we see today, and the social and life skills our children need to thrive in adulthood!
Services are available to families with children of all ages and abilities. Though we are not fully funded and offer fee-based services, no one is turned away due to lack of funds, and many if not all services are available on a donation basis or sliding scale fee.
Class series offered- Navigating the Preschool years, School years, Teen years, fatherhood and beyond!
Workshops – Hot topic issues parents and educators face are available on-demand!
Individual Coaching– Brief and targeted support for specific parenting issues (donation-based sessions as needed/requested).
Play Groups/Small Group Parenting Support – El Patio de Mi Casa/ All Together Now ongoing at the Live Oak Community Resource Center
Additional help is available to breathe the JOY back into parenting and learn how to start gaining cooperation instead of seeking compliance! We can help bridge the gap between the problems we see today, and the social and life skills our children need to thrive in adulthood!
What is a developmental screening?
A developmental screening can help show how your child is learning and developing. A screening can help you celebrate your child’s milestones. Screenings can also identify possible delays in learning and development. If delays are present, your child can receive services from a community agency with assistance from your service coordinator.
A developmental screening will look at your child’s five areas of development:
- Communication Skills
- Motor Skills
- Social and Emotional Skills
- Adaptive Skills
- Cognitive Skills
Home Base Program (birth – 3 years) – year round program
This program provides services to families in their homes. The Home Visitor helps parents provide learning opportunities using the home as the primary learning environment. These opportunities can enhance a child’s growth and development. A Home Visitor visits the home each week for 1 ½ hours. Also, two socialization groups are held each month. During these groups, children have the opportunity to develop social skills with other children. Parents also have the opportunity to socialize with other parents.
Toddler Center Base Program (12 – 36 months) – year round program
Children are enrolled in an extended day class 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) for 6 ½ hours. Three nutritious meals are provided. Families also participate in home visits and parent/teacher conferences.
Part-Day Center Base Program (3 – 5 years/pre-kindergarten age)
Children are enrolled in an AM or PM class 4 days a week (Tuesday-Friday) for 3 ½ hours. Two nutritious meals are served. Families also participate in home visits and parent/teacher conferences.
Extended Day/Extended Year Center Base Program (3 – 5 years/pre-kindergarten age)
Children are enrolled in an extended day class 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) for 6 hours. Three nutritious meals are served. Families also participate in home visits and parent/teacher conferences.
To apply, please visit the Head Start and Early Head Start Website or call 831-724-3885
Parenting Concerns - Counseling and Abuse
Experiencing difficulties in your family or concerned about a child’s/adolescent’s safety?
Are you concerned about a child who you think is being abused or neglected by a parent or guardian?
General Parenting Resources
Find resources for childcare, immunizations, special education programs, and more!
Family Resource Centers help families with children from infancy to age five. Services can include:
– Parent and child together classes
– School readiness programs
– Literacy programs
– Pre-school referrals
– Free developmental check-ups
– Limited dental services
– Health resources and referrals to public health nurses
– Referrals to mental health services and health insurance enrollment
– Emergency food assistance/utility assistance
– Case management
– Parent education programs
– Family support resources and referrals
Some programs let you engage in physical activities with your child. Other programs teach you how to create fun learning opportunities for your child.
There are many different resources available for disabled individuals and their families.
Parent Support Groups help parents come together and offer one another mutual support.
Respite Care offers a break for parents, guardians, or caregivers of dependent adults and children. This supervision can take place in the home or in a community setting.
Special Education services are available in preschool, elementary school, and beyond.
Disability Related Sports allow people with functional disabilities and cognitive disabilities to play.
Some programs loan out equipment, appliances, and assistive aids. They can also train people on how to use these Assistive Technology devices.
Others help disabled individuals and their families understand Disability Rights. They can learn what benefits they may be eligible for and how to go about receiving them.
Are you concerned about a child who you think is being abused or neglected by a parent or guardian?
Need to safely surrender a newborn?
Becoming an adoptive or foster parent can be a difficult legal and emotional process. Find a program that can help you through the transition of becoming an adoptive or foster parent. You can also find a support group to get you through the mental and emotional obstacles involved.
Military Family Support Centers can offer a variety of services to service members, their families, and veterans.
- Information & Referral
- Relocation Assistance
- Family Employment Readiness
- Financial Counseling
- General Counseling
- Marital/Family counseling
- Children/Family counseling
- Life Skills Education
- New Parent Support
- Family Advocacy
- Sexual Assault Victim Intervention
Dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 for more help.
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week AND is free, confidential, and available in multiple languages.