Bates Child Studies department offers parents and caregivers insight, education

Tuesday, January 14

TACOMA, Wash. - Parents and caregivers are a child's first and most important teachers. However, parenthood doesn't come with a training manual. That's where Bates Technical College's Child Studies department comes in.

For nearly 65 years, the college has provided programs and classes specifically designed to give parents and caregivers the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the best start to their child's education and future.

"Parenthood is full time, and requires skills and knowledge like other occupations," said Karen Patjens, Child Studies instructor. "The joy of our work comes from engaging with parents and their children, especially in the cooperative preschool environment, where parents learn about child development alongside their children, who receive a developmentally-appropriate preschool experience," she said.

Child Studies faculty and staff operate 22 non-profit cooperative preschools, a comprehensive Resource Center, and offers free or low-cost educational opportunities for child care employees and parents, including the annual Brain Series in April, which brings renowned child-development speakers to campus for a free, public lecture. The department also holds monthly Parent Education Seminars.

The seminars are short classes that feature topics of interest to those who work in a child care setting, or who are parents of young children. This month's Parent Education Seminar, Getting School Ready, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7-8:30 p.m. at the college's South Campus Auditorium. The free class features a panel of kindergarten teachers who will discuss aspects of getting children ready for kindergarten. Next month features Tinkertopia co-founder Darcy Anderson, who will share ideas for craft projects that use recycled material.

"Research has consistently shown that quality early childhood experiences help children develop the skills and abilities they need in order to be successful in kindergarten and the primary education years-something we agree is important to our community," remarked Patjens.

For more information about Bates' Child Studies programs, go to, or call 253.680.7500.  

About Bates Technical College

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 53 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.  

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