Early Childhood Parenting Center Located at:
1440 Harvard Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Early Childhood
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Our Staff:
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ECPC is comprised of professionals in the fields of mental health, early childhood development, and parent education who volunteer their time and expertise because of a deep commitment to and passion for helping families. They are psychologists, child development specialists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, psychotherapists, teachers, and parents who bring a collective 400 + years of knowledge, experience and wisdom to ECPC and its families. Our program is staffed by over fifteen volunteer professionals who are experts in education and child development, and who bring critical hands-on expertise to their groups. All of the common parenting issues are addressed, but from within the context of our own clinical research and developmental expertise. Parents learn "how to be the best parent you can be" in a warm and nurturing environment. If there are developmental issues in some children, we are fully equipped to provide the proper treatment or referral.


Our Staff

Helen Reid

M.A., LCSW: ECPC Founder / After receiving her Master's Degree in Social Work at UCLA in 1961,...

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Gloria Mucino

LCSW: Executive Director/Group Leader / Gloria has been a mental health clinician...

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Maxine Mintzer

PhD, LCSW: Group Leader, Intern Supervisor / Maxine received her MSW in 1978 and PhD in 1999 and

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Barbara Kingsley

M.A., MFT: Group Leader/Toddler Group Coordinator / Barbara received her MFT in 1984 and has

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Bernice Miller

Group Leader/Infant Group Coordinator / Bernice received her B.A. in childhood development in 1980 and received her training...

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Lezlie Atlas

Toddler Group Leader
Lezlie received her BA in 1966 from the USC School of Education and soon after began volunteering with..

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Judy Dubin

M.A. : Toddler Group Leader
Judy has a B.A. in Elementary Education from UCLA and a M.A. in Educational Psychology –Early...

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Renee Kass

Toddler Group Leader / Renee has been involved in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 35 years, first training and then...

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Bobbie Poledouris

Outreach Volunteer / Bobbie received her B.A. in Sociology from USC. In 1975 she trained at ECPC (formally called ECC) in the field..

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Laura Rabin

Infant Group Leader
Laura received her BA in Speech Therapy in 1960 from Northwestern University  and worked for two years

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Madeline Schwarzman

MA, MFT Outreach Volunteer
Madeline received her M.A. in Psychology from Antioch College and then in 1976 her degree in...

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Linda Mazer Shoenman

M.A., MFCC, NCSP: Toddler Group Leader / After receiving a M.A. in Education in 1971, Linda worked as the Director of Primary and...

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Joan Simon

Infant Group Leader
After receiving her BA at UC Berkeley, Joan taught high school English for three years. In 1987, after

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Agnes Tomita Thaler

M.A, MFT: Toddler Group Leader
A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Agnes spent several years working with AADAP...

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Barbara Trikonis

M.A., LCSW: Toddler Group Leader
Barbara is a licensed clinician with a private practice in Encino and Santa Monica. She first came to ECPC...

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Wendy J. Vitalich

M.A. : Toddler Group Co-leader
Wendy graduated with her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in 2009 when she began her...

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Helen Reid, M.A., LCSW: ECPC Founder
Helen joined the Clinical Social Work staff in the Department of Psychiatry (Thalian Mental health Center) at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She subsequently became the Executive Director for the Early Childhood Center in the Children's Division. She filled this post until 2000. Helen has created and produced a nationally known series of educational discs for parents of young children, "Is My Baby O.K.?" She continues a private practice in West Los Angeles.

Gloria Mucino, M.A.,LCSW: Executive Director/Group Leader
Gloria has been a mental health clinician for over 26 years working both in the community and in her private practice with a focus on children and families. She trained as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Before becoming the Executive Director of ECPC, Gloria worked as Director of Mental Health for the Venice Family Clinic from 1998-2007. As a mother, Gloria understands the daily challenges of being a parent.

Maxine Mintzer, PhD, LCSW: Group Leader, Intern Supervisor
Maxine received her MSW in 1978 and PhD in 1999 and has been in private practice for 18 years, specializing in children and their families. She also does private supervision of professionals working with children and has been on the faculty of the Graduate Center for Child Development and Psychotherapy. She has been affiliated with ECPC since 1989 and has served as a parenting group leader, Warm Line supervisor and clinical supervisor for the intern/traineeship program.

Barbara Kingsley, M.A., MFT: Group Leader/Toddler Group Coordinator
Barbara received her MFT in 1984 and has since been in private practice working with individuals, parents, couples and families. Her involvement with ECPC began 23 years ago where she was trained in Early Childhood Education and Attachment theory and where she continues to serve as a Toddler group leader and as the Toddler Group Coordinator. She has two sons, and three grandchildren whom she says "I adore, but who often keep me grounded in knowing how challenging it can be to raise children today. I believe in the process of parenting, growing with children as we learn from and with them along the way."

Bernice Miller: Group Leader/Infant Group Coordinator
Bernice received her B.A. in childhood development in 1980 and received her training as a Child Development Specialist with ECPC (formerly ECC) at the Thalian Mental Health Center of Cedars Sinai. In addition to leading infant parenting groups she is the ECPC Infant Coordinator and the Coordinator of the parenting coaching Warm Line, a free telephone service for parents with children from infancy to 6 yrs.

Lezlie Atlas: Toddler Group Leader
Lezlie received her BA in 1966 from the USC School of Education and soon after began volunteering with ECPC (formerly ECC). She received her training as an Early Childhood Development Specialist at the Thalian Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and the Cheerful Helpers Therapeutic Pre-School and in 1977 became a group leader for ECPC. In 1985, she and her husband Richard founded the Atlas Family Foundation, dedicated to funding high-impact early childhood intervention programs within Los Angeles County.

Judy Dubin M.A.: Toddler Group Leader
Judy has a B.A. in Elementary Education from UCLA and a M.A. in Educational Psychology –Early Childhood Education from CSUN. She received her ECPC training in 1980. Her extensive work in the field includes 9 years as a teacher in LAUSD and 16 years as Child Life Specialist at Kaiser Hospital. She has been a Parent/Infant/Toddler group leader at various locations in the San Fernando Valley for 16 years and taught courses in Child Developments and LA Valley College and CSUN. She has served on the Board and as President for the San Fernando Valley Child Care Consortium and the Association of Child Development Specialists and was co-director of Good Beginnings Parenting Center in Woodland Hills. A mother and grandmother, Judy is passionate about music, working with children, learning, and her family.

Linda Glasser  MSW  LCSW:  Group Leade r
Linda graduated from UCLA in 1984 with a Masters of Social Welfare degree and received her license as a Clinical Social Worker in 1989. In 1991 she completed her training in early childhood development at the Early Childhood Center at  Thalians Mental Health Center, Cedars Sinai Medical Center in the Cheerful Helpers Therapeutic Preschool and B.E.I.G. intervention and evaluation program. She has worked for the L.A. County Department of Mental Health and in private practice providing psychotherapy for children and adults.  In addition, she consults with preschools  and leads parent groups.   Currently she works for an agency as a supervisor of in-home interventionists and  provides family treatment and guidance for parents and children with special needs.  Linda believes that "each child deserves the best possible start for healthy growth and development."

Renee Kass,: Toddler Group Leader
Renee has been involved in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 35 years, first training and then teaching at The Center for Early Education and The Early Childhood Center at the Thalian Mental Health Center of Cedars Sinai. Being a toddler group leader at ECPC since 1974 has taught her that "parenting is a lesson in connectedness and an art of the highest order." "My goal with every parent is to help them understand, accept, and cope with the 'process' as well as the tears and joys they face in the art of parenting."

Bobbie Poledouris Outreach Volunteer
Bobbie received her B.A. in Sociology from USC. In 1975 she trained at ECPC (formerly called ECC) in the Thalian Community Mental Health Center where she co-led parent/child education groups. She also taught the pregnancy and recovery exercise classes at Jane Fonda's Workout. After raising her two daughters and working in her family business, Bobbie began leading support groups for battered women at Sojourn in Santa Monica. She returned to ECPC in 2005 as a toddler group leader. For the past three years, Bobbie has been teaching parenting/life skills classes at Upward Bound House, a transitional facility for homeless families in Santa Monica.

Laura Rabin: Infant Group Leader
Laura received her BA in Speech Therapy in 1960 from Northwestern University  and worked for two years as a Speech Therapist before moving to Los Angeles. She received her training in Early Childhood Education from ECPC at the Thalian Mental Health center in Cedars Sinai and has since led both infant and toddler groups. She is the mother of three children and four grandchildren. "To be working with families when a new baby comes into their lives is both a joy and a privilege."

Madeline Schwarzman, MA, MFT Outreach Volunteer
Madeline received her M.A. in Psychology from Antioch College and then in 1976 her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy after which she worked in private practice for 5 years. She has been facilitating the Parent/Toddler group at First Presbyterian Nursery School since 1992. She is also a certified Teacher of Nonviolent Parenting and Education. Since 2007 she has been co-leading the parenting group for ECPC at Gramercy House, a transitional housing center for teenage mothers. "Working in the field of parenting and being a mom of two daughters (now in their twenties), I have enormous respect for the joys and struggles we each encounter as parents."

Linda Mazer Shoenman, M.A., MFCC, NCSP: Toddler Group Leader
After receiving a M.A. in Education in 1971, Linda worked as the Director of Primary and Secondary Programs for the Long Beach Neuropsychiatric Institute and taught at the Neuropsychiatric Institute of UCLA. She has been a school psychologist for numerous school districts including Burbank and Beverly Hills with a particular emphasis in gifted, and mentally and emotionally handicapped children. In 1978 she completed training in Child Development and Psychotherapy Training from the L.A. Psychoanalytic Institute. She was licensed to practice as a Marriage Family Child Counselor IN 1978 and has received a National Certification for School Psychology. She received her Early Childhood Education from ECPC at Cedars Sinai in the early 1990's and has since served as an infant/toddler group leader. "I especially love working with children during their first three years and am passionate about providing a supportive environment while helping parents and children learn more about each other."

Joan Simon Group Leade r : Infant Group Leader
After receiving her BA at UC Berkeley, Joan taught high school English for three years. In 1987, after two years of graduate work in Early Childhood
Development at CSUN, she became a volunteer and trainee with ECPC at Cedars Sinai and began leading infant and toddler groups. She has served as Infant Program Chairwoman and as an ECPC Board member. Other past volunteer activities include fund raising for Gateways Hospital, promoting the Lamaze childbirth method, interviewing candidates for the UCLA Lamaze teacher-training program, and serving as Chair of the Board of the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics in Los Angeles. She has two children and two grandchildren.

Agnes Tomita Thaler, M.A, MFT: Toddler Group Leader
A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Agnes spent several years working with AADAP (Asian American Drug Abuse Program), the Asian Pacific Mental Health Clinic and Shanti (Aids counseling) before coming to ECPC in 1995 for training in early childhood development. Soon after she began co-leading toddler parenting groups and has continued to do so over the years. A mother of two sons, Agnes believes strongly in the importance of good parent/child relationships. An important goal for her is 'to help parents feel confident in their parenting'.

Barbara Trikonis, M.A., LCSW: Toddler Group Leader
Barbara is a licensed clinician with a private practice in Encino and Santa Monica. She first came to ECPC as a parent seeking information from the ECPC Warm Line. She joined the early childhood development-training program at ECPC in the early 1990's and has since volunteered with the program as a group leader and Child Development Specialist. She also spent ten years working as part of a psychotherapy group at UCLA Santa Monica and six years at the Stuart House treatment program. As a professional and as a parent, Barbara is very aware of the need for support and developmental information during the early years of raising children.

Wendy J. Vitalich M.A. : Toddler Group Co-leader
Wendy graduated with her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in 2009 when she began her internship with ECPC working with toddlers and training with the ECPC Child Development Specialist. In addition to her work at ECPC, she runs support groups with an emphasis on divorce/separation issues and parenting. She is the single mom of a teenage daughter and owns and operates an employment recruiting business. She says, "becoming a Marriage Family Therapist has been a 30 year dream for me. I have always had the passion to work with families."


Early Childhood Parenting Center  /  1440 Harvard Street  /  Santa Monica, CA 90404  /  Phone: (310) 281-9770  / Los Angeles Parenting Classes and Groups