Press Release: First 5 Mendocino Champions Positive Parenting Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 10, 2024
Contact: Townley Saye, Executive Director
(707) 462-4453 | 

Mendocino County, CA – January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month, a time to focus on educating parents and the organizations that support them about the vital practices, programs, and services that contribute to the well-being of families and children in our community – this is the work of First 5 Mendocino.

Research shows that children who experience safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments develop essential skills that protect against interpersonal, family, and community violence. Positive parenting also plays a crucial role in preventing and healing from adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, and household challenges.

Even under the best circumstances, parenting can be challenging, and recent global events have made things even more difficult for many families. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related crises, and racial injustices have heightened economic insecurity, mental health challenges, domestic violence, discrimination, and trauma experienced by families, particularly those from marginalized communities, according to First 5 Mendocino Executive Director Townley Saye.

In alignment with the California State Association of Counties 2024 agenda, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation sponsored by Supervisor Maureen Mulheren to enhance and advocate for early childhood services focused on prevention that advance whole-child and family-based approaches such as the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P). Triple P provides evidence-based strategies to strengthen family relationships, promote child development, and address common parenting challenges. 

First 5 Mendocino recognizes the significant impact of parenting during the first five years of a child’s life, when 90 percent of brain development occurs. To support parents during this critical period, First 5 collaborates with local community organizations to provide free and low-cost resources, including classes and information, as well as practical support like diapers and assistance with car seat installation.

For more than 13 years, First 5 Mendocino has collaborated with local family resource centers, North Coast Opportunities’ Early Head Start and Head Start programs, and Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services to offer Triple P classes and other parenting support in English and Spanish countywide, serving approximately 1,000 parents and children of diverse backgrounds annually.

Saye says she hopes that by normalizing the idea of seeking support, more parents will reach out to get the help they need. 

She said, “Parenting is hard. Knowing you can ask for help–and that there are resources available–can reduce the overall stress of parenting. Programs like Triple P help parents find simple solutions to really common parenting problems, giving parents more time to connect, play, and simply enjoy their child.”

Saye and her staff encourage overwhelmed parents and caregivers to explore the free classes offered through Triple P, which cover topics such as how to manage the challenges of family life, tantrums, bedtime battles, disobedience, and aggression. Triple P also teaches restorative wellness practices, like taking a mindful minute or prioritizing self-care to help parents shift their perspectives. 

Saye noted, “We don’t always see things as they are; rather, we see them as we are, based on how we’re feeling. When you’re tired, everything takes a lot of effort. When you’re hungry, everything feels urgent. We can help parents learn how to be more self-aware, to stay calm, take a deep breath, process what’s going on, and respond effectively.”

One-on-one sessions, seminars, and ongoing classes are available at a variety of times in English and Spanish, so parents can choose how much support they want. First 5 Community Education Manager Megan Carson encouraged parents to stop by First 5 Mendocino at their new office at 419 Talmage Road, Suite J for more parenting information and support.

In addition to parenting support, First 5 Mendocino provides professional development services, including trauma- and resilience-informed training for community organizations, especially family resource centers, which offer classes, playgroups, and assistance in accessing local resources for families.

For ongoing parenting tips and updates on classes and events, follow @first5mendocino or your local family resource center on Facebook and Instagram. For more information and resources, visit First 5 Mendocino’s website at

“Seeking help early is crucial. Please reach out when you need support parenting your little one. You are not alone in your parenting journey,” Saye said.


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