Parents looking for to connect with other parents or gain some tips and tricks on raising kids might want to mark their calendar for Oct. 21 and 22.

ParentConnect, a new not-for profit entity based in Markham, will launch its parenting community hub this fall to offer new and immigrant parents a free one-stop place for much-needed information and resources, and to promote positive parenting for a better future society. The Parenting Expo, taking place in October at the Markham Event Centre, is the main launch for the business.

“York Region has a big immigrant population, and I noticed a gap,” said Loretta Lam, founder of ParentConnect as well as a parent, immigrant, and a marketing agency owner in Markham. “According to an informal parent focus group ParentConnect conducted early in the year, many parents share one common concern – how to be an effective parent and locate all the knowledge and resources they need to give their children the best. Results also showed that there is a huge information gap for new and immigrant parents to access the information and support they need to raise a family in an unfamiliar and time-stressed environment.”

ParentConnect consists of an online platform that offers useful information and resources that are useful to parents, an annual public event Parenting Expo, and ongoing activities such as seminars, workshops and family events. Parents can sign up free membership to receive news and invitation to events and special programs. Seminars and workshops will cover such topics as health and nutrition, baby care, schooling, child psychology, staying active, child safety and family and youth financial literacy. Through ParentConnect, parents can also network with other parents of diverse ethnic backgrounds to share experiences and thoughts. Public and private sector product and service providers will be invited as partners to provide information, activities, samples and discount programs.

Parents can participate in parenting seminars and interactive workshops in English and Chinese. Kids can be engaged in various children activities. There will also be a furnished nursing and diaper change room for new parents and a lounge area for families.

More than 40 exhibitors will showcase their services and products dedicated to new and immigrant parents.  Various departments from the City of Markham will also participate at the Expo, including Markham in Motion, Markham Water and Markham Fire.

Visit www.parentconnect.ca for details.

Photo: Councillors Don Hamilton and Alan Ho join ParentConnect owner Loretta Lam as she announces her company’s parenting initiative dedicated to helping new and immigrant families and the launch of the October 21 and 22 Parenting Expo.

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