Frances Walfish has been appointed chairperson and Linda Shoenman vice chairperson of the Santa Monica-based nonprofit Early Childhood Parenting Centerís (ECPC) executive board.

ìThe Early Childhood Parenting Center is the cutting-edge organization that has helped hundreds of parents over the years with universal parenting issues,î said Walfish. ìIn addition to its pioneering parent-child support groups, ECPC is unique in offering our ëParenting Warm Lineí telephone service that provides advice from trained childhood development specialists at no cost.î

Walfish, who has a doctorate in psychology, has a private practice in child and family psychotherapy in Beverly Hills. She was also on staff and trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for 15 years.

During this time she responded to Parenting Warm Line calls and said she has been ìpassionately committedî to the Early Childhood Parenting Center ever since.

The Parenting Warm Line, at (310) 281-9770, is a free phone service for parents to call and ask non-medical-related advice from a trained childhood development specialist.

The line responds to common childhood development questions, offers suggestions and provides reassurance about many developmental issues.

Shoenman, who has an M.A., has volunteered for the Childhood Parenting Center for more than a decade and serves as a group leader for the parent-toddler groups.

She is responsible for supervising the child development specialists and childrenís programs. She also worked on the Parenting Warm Line for four years as a trained professional volunteer.

ìAs a parent, you sometimes just wish you could understand why your kids do the things they do,î Shoenman said. ìMy passion is to help parents make a connection with their children and to tighten that bond that will nurture them throughout their lives.î

Schoenman has more than three decades of experience working with children and her credentials include National Certification for School Psychology (NCSP) and Marriage Family Child Counselor (MFCC). She has also worked with handicapped children.

Prior to joining the Early Childhood Parenting Center, she was an educational therapist and school psychologist.

For more than 30 years, the Early Childhood Parenting Center has provided guidance and support for parents to learn essential tools and strategies in promoting the social, emotional and intellectual growth and development of children during the critical formative years of birth to six years old.

The center was founded in 1970 by Helen Reid and Dr. Saul Brown at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and it is now in Santa Monica at 440 Harvard St.

Information, www.parenting