The New Parent Support Group is a family-based, virtual group session supervised and facilitated by a Hunter College Graduate Professor of Early Childhood Special Education and professional in the field of early childhood development. It is an opportunity designed for families with children ages 0-3 to engage in structured conversation on a specific developmental topic for each session, focusing on parent-child interactions and direct support of child learning through guided interactions and strategies in the home environment or setting of the family’s choosing.
These sessions are also set up as an interactive learning experience for Hunter College Graduate students in early childhood special education, giving them essential opportunities to engage with families and to work toward the goal of facilitating such support group sessions in the future. Hunter students in attendance will have opportunities to join the conversations, provide direct support strategies, and facilitate one session topic as a team.
Families can expect to feel welcomed and supported in exploring specific topics of their child(ren)’s learning and development. They will have ample opportunity to guide the conversation based on their personal experiences and interactions seen during the session’s Parent-Child Observation segment. Families are encouraged to set up their space to include familiar and new play items and will receive a prompt with ideas specific to the given topic. In general, a few toys, child clothing items, blankets, cushions, books, a child-safe mirror, musical instruments/noise-making toys, puzzles, and food items might be among the things suggested for each session. Families are asked to set up their camera device and play area prior to the session in order to best provide opportunity for observed interactions.
Families will additionally have opportunities to bring up and discuss developmental topics of their own interest (outside of the developmental session topic) in family-to-family conversation, as facilitated by the early childhood professionals and Hunter Graduate student teams.