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Organization of Parenting Education Programs (OPEP)

What is OPEP?

The Organization of Parenting Education Programs (OPEP) is a professional organization of parenting education program administrators and coordinators representing Washington state’s public community and technical colleges.


Carolina Olza-Kelsh
OPEP President, Whatcom Community College Parenting Education Coordinator

Anna Nikolaeva Olson
Policy Associate, SBCTC Liaison to OPEP



Community and technical college OPEP contacts 

Why Parenting Education is Vital

Our state’s economic future depends on the success of every child born today. Support for parenting education programs strengthens families and enhances a parent's ability to provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their child.

Parents are their children's first and most important teachers

  • The early years from birth to five are critical to a child’s development. Early childhood and family programs are geared to helping families of children in these formative years.
  • Studies show that children whose parents are involved in their education and learning are more successful in school.
  • Research shows that early childhood programs involving both parents and children are more effective than programs focusing only on children.

Parenting lasts a lifetime

  • Extensive research shows nurturing, stable and protective relationships are essential for a child’s brain development.
  • Community and technical colleges provide programs that allow parents to develop skills and abilities to help their children be successful.
  • Through participation in college affiliated parent cooperatives, parents develop leadership abilities which are valuable as emerging skills for the workforce, stewardship, advocacy and community work.

OPEP Works for Children and Families

We provide

  • Communication about parenting education, early learning and family living programs at colleges statewide.
  • Current information concerning research, curricula, public policy and staff training.
  • Professional expertise to individuals, organizations and agencies working with and on behalf of families and children in Washington state.
  • Professional development for coordinators and program staff.
  • Resource material and program standards for coordinators.
  • Collaboration and co-sponsorship with statewide conferences and workshops.

Our mission

Parenting education programs in Washington’s community and technical colleges build stronger and healthier families through adult and adult/child learning.

Our vision

Parenting education in Washington’s community and technical colleges will be recognized as a high quality, effective and responsive contributor to the state's healthy families, communities and economies. 


Join an eList

Get involved in conversations with your peers at other colleges. Mailman Mail-Lists of interest to childcare directors and program supervisors include:

  • OPEP (Parenting Education Coordinators)

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Last Modified: 4/13/23, 4:53 PM

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