The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center (formerly Family Fundamentals) offers weekly classes for children from infants through age 5 where parents and children will learn and socialize as they participate in fun, stimulating, developmental activities. These classes are FREE and a great opportunity to meet other moms and caregivers.
The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center moved to a new location in the fall of 2022. It is now located at Bonnet Springs Park in the same building as the Florida Children’s Museum.
Children’s Resource Center Classes
Classes for infants through age 5 are available weekly at the Children’s Resource Center, including:
- Great Beginnings – Children Under 12 Months
- Once Upon a Time – Ages 12-24 Months
- Read, Sing and Dance – Ages 12-24 Months
- Twos-Day – Age 2
- Terrific Thursday – Age 2
- Movement and Mindfulness – Ages 2-4
- Marvelous Monday, Wonderful Wednesday, and Funday Friday – Ages 3-5
- Infant/Toddler Sign Language – Ages 7-24 Months
- Infant Massage
- Preschool Sign Language – Ages 2-4
- Breastfeeding Support Group
- ASD/Autism Support Group
Classes are designed for the specific age listed in the class. If you bring another child, the guardian must provide supervision at all times to ensure younger or older siblings safety.
Children’s Resource Center Class Schedule
Classes run year round at The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center at Bonnet Springs Park. Reservations are required for most classes – details below.
For the most up-to-date schedule, visit the Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center page on the United Way website. The Children’s Resource Center follows the Polk County School Schedule for major holidays and school breaks, but there are usually classes on teacher workdays. Check the calendar on the United Way website for any school holidays in question.
Be sure to call 863.648.1500 x 248 or check the Facebook page for any last-minute cancellations.
A class reservation system was implemented when the Children’s Resource Center moved to their new space in 2022. Reservations open each Friday at 12:00 p.m., noon for classes the following week, and reservations must be made for each individual class on the United Way website. Reservations will remain open until the class has reached capacity so even if you’re a last-minute planner, you can still check the night before or morning of a class and sign up for any open spaces.
Classes are free and the reservation system is designed to make life easier for parents and guardians! We all know how much effort goes into getting little ones dressed, in the car, and out of the house, and the Children’s Resource Center staff wants to ensure you can plan to attend an upcoming program without worrying that it will reach capacity before you arrive. Walk-in’s may also attend if there is an opening.
Since class sizes are limited, please be sure you arrive on time. Anyone arriving 15 minutes late to class may not be able to attend.
How to find the Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center
Bonnet Springs Park is free and open to the public. You’ll enter the park, pass the first parking lot and Welcome Center, and continue on until you see the next parking lot on your left for the Children’s Museum and Depot.
To find the entrance to the Children’s Resource Center, walk through the breezeway between the two buildings towards the Family Lawn, turn to your left, and look for the Children’s Resource Center sign and the large butterflies on the side of the building.
What is the Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center?
The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center is a community-based learning and resource center that provides classes, playgroups, workshops, developmental checkups, community activities, and support for parents and caregivers of children aged 0-6, as well as for expectant moms and dads. They strive to make childhood a happy, healthy, and wholesome experience for every child and parent in Polk County. While they are best known among local families for their weekly classes, they also provide an array of additional services through local partners.
If you are in need of services, the staff at the Children’s Resource Center can help connect you with their partners who provide evaluations, counseling, tax prep, healthcare navigation, financial stability classes, casework and many other services. Formerly known as Family Fundamentals, the Children’s Resource Center has served Polk County families for 20+ years!
Services provided by the United Way Children’s Resource Center
Some of the other services offered on-site at the Children’s Resource Center or through community partners:
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – sign up to receive free children’s books by mail for ages 0-5
- Free Tax Prep – On site from January to April
- Financial Stability Classes – learn how to budget, get out of debt, save and invest, and improve credit reports in this series of free workshops
- Healthcare Navigator – assistance navigating healthcare options, bi-lingual Navigators are also available
- Free Developmental Screenings for Children – Ages birth to 5 years old, the third Monday of each month from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Sessions are 15-20 minutes to assess whether your child is developing on track and provide any referrals. Walk-ins are welcome or call to schedule an appointment time.
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
- and more
Florida Children’s Museum Partnership
The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center is located at Bonnet Springs Park in the same building as the Florida Children’s Museum. This partnership with the Children’s Museum is great for parents and caregivers! You can enjoy a structured class, socialize with other moms, AND give your kids time to explore the Florida Children’s Museum and/or Bonnet Springs Park after class, providing a full day of activities.
Annual Memberships for the Museum are a great deal and provide you with a full year of unlimited play, discounts for camps and other special events, and reciprocal admission offers. Click here to learn more about a Florida Children’s Museum Membership.
More about Success by 6
Success By 6 is a community-wide children’s initiative, spearheaded by United Way of Central Florida and founded in 1995 by Carol Jenkins Barnett, President of Publix Charities, that brings together resources to form a community partnership. Success By 6 is an initiative to make early childhood development a top priority in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties and to ensure that all children, by the age of six, have the physical, emotional, social, and mental foundation to succeed in school and in life.
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Classes + Activities Guide
Check out our Classes + Activities for Lakeland and Polk County to find more extracurricular activities for kids, youth sports, swim lessons, toddler activities, and more.