An informal gathering for parents and their children, interactive playgroups offer a fun environment for explorative play and friendship. These events are open to the public and held at our office at 124 Canal Street, Suite A in Lewiston)
We sincerely appreciate any monetary donation at the door (no matter how big or small) to help us support playgroups. Families may arrive between 9:45 am and 10:15am. Space is limited so arrive early to join the fun. There may be times when families will be asked to visit on another day to ensure adequate space for the health and safety of all visitors.
Playgroup ages 0-5: Mondays and Thursdays 10-11:30am
Infant Playgroup: Fridays from 10am-11:00am
Maine Families Androscoggin (MFA) Family Visiting
Maine Families Androscoggin (MFA) works in partnership with expectant parents and parents of babies and toddlers, at no cost to families. Professional family visitors meet with you in the comfort and privacy of your own home. We support expectant parents to have a healthy pregnancy by providing you with information on breastfeeding, eating healthy for you and your baby, fetal development and childbirth. Once your baby is born, your family visitor will share information about different ages and stages of your baby’s development by:
- Sharing toys, books and games to help you encourage your baby’s healthy growth.
- Providing you with helpful tools and ideas for meeting the daily challenges of parenting.
- Helping you connect with other community services and resources you might want to use.
Who are we? Maine Families Androscoggin has a team of professionals who believe that you are your child’s first and most influential teacher. Our family visitors partner with you to support the physical and emotional health of your baby. MFA can serve families who speak languages other than English; interpreter services are provided at no cost to the family.
Who can join? Anyone living in Androscoggin County who meets the following criteria: If you are age 21 or older you can enroll during pregnancy or before your baby is 3 months old; if you are under age 21 you can enroll during pregnancy or before your baby is 6 months old.
What happens at a family visit? During family visits you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences about parenting, ask questions and receive reliable information based on your interests and needs on topics such as pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or formula feeding, discipline, toilet learning, child safety and much more! Your family visitor will also bring an age appropriate activity for you and your child to do together.
Parent & Caregiver Programs
All programs are free of charge unless noted otherwise.
All prenatal, breastfeeding, and pumping moms are welcome to join certified lactation consultants on Wednesdays from 10 am – 11 am.
We are currently working with our community partners to roll out new Parent Connections offerings in the coming months- stay tuned for more information.
This is a two-session, evidence-based program developed by Dr. Thomas Phelan. It is designed to assist parents and caregivers with developing strong, positive relationships with children.
Active Parenting Programs
The Active Parenting Programs, created by Dr. Michael Popkin, support parents and caregivers with an overview of specific concepts within 3-6 sessions. The evidence-based programs emphasize raising responsible, cooperative children who will be prepared to meet the challenges of life.
- 1,2,3,4 Parents (a.k.a. Peaceful Parenting Young Children) is a six-hour program for caregivers or parents of children between 1-4 years of age. The concepts include ages and stages of typical development, parenting styles, the importance fo bonding through play with children, and discipline strategies.
- Active Parenting Now (a.k.a. Communicating with Your School-Age child) is a nin0hour program that provides participants with information about how to build courage, character, develop cooperation, manage problems and risks, and discipline strategies.
- Active Parenting Teens is a nine-hour program that outlines methods of respectful discipline, skills for clean and honest communication, concrete strategies to prevent risky behaviors and how to be an encouraging parent.
Nurturing Parenting Program
The Nurturing Parenting Programs (NPPs), developed by Dr. Stephen Bavolek and guided by two trained NPP Facilitators, are evidence-based, family-centered programs designed to increase positive, nurturing skills and behaviors. This program explores developmentally appropriate expectations, recognizing, validating, and expressing feelings, discipline strategies, and family roles and encouraging power and independence.
- NPP for Parents of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers – 23-session, competency-based program providing families or caregivers of young children (0-5 years) an opportunity to practice specific skills in a group setting with other parents and caregivers, as well as in their homes.
- NPP for Parents of School-Age Children – 12-session, group-based program for families or caregivers of school-age children (ages 5-12 years).
- NPP for Parents of Adolescents – 13-week session, group-based program for families or caregivers of teens (ages 13-18 years).
- Nurturing Father’s Program – 13-week session for males caring for or fathering (e.g., step-fathers, expecting fathers, adoptive fathers, etc.) children of any age. The group discusses the roots of fathering, self-nurturing, meeting our own needs and those of our children, fathering without violence or fear, managing stressors in healthy ways, discipline, the difference between fathering sons/daughters, and co-parenting with the mother of one’s children.
- Community-based NPP – 13 separate workshops highlighting “hot topics” in caregiving and parenting. Topics include the philosophy of nurturing, ages and stages, brain development, building self-worth, discipline strategies, praise, rewards and consequences, respectful communication, understanding and expressing feelings, and managing stress and anger.
Healthy Androscoggin seeks to build healthy communities and lifestyles by promoting five main goals: supporting tobacco-free lifestyles, preventing youth substance use, encouraging physical activity, promoting healthy eating, and preventing childhood lead poisoning.
Healthy Children The only parenting website backed by 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
HelpGuide.org Provides useful information and resources for healthy emotional/mental health, healthy lifestyles, children and families, and life over 50.
KidsHealth Nine Steps to more effective parenting
Macaroni Kid Androscoggin A free, weekly e-newsletter and accompanying website featuring family-friendly events happening in the community as well as articles of interest to parents.