Frequently Asked Questions

What is Parents as Teachers?
Parents as Teachers is an early childhood parent education and family support program for parents of children prenatal to kindergarten.

Is the program targeted to one special audience?
No. The program is for all families of young children. Single parents, two-parent families, first time parents, as well as experienced parents can benefit from the developmental information and ideas.

What are the program components?
Personal visits by a certified Parent Educator, group meetings, in-home developmental screening, access to local resource lending libraries, and a subscription to the monthly newsletter.

What is a Parent Educator?
A Parent Educator is a professional who is trained in early childhood development from prenatal to age three or through kindergarten.

What does the program cost families?
There is no cost to families, however, funding for PAT is not available in all areas.

What can a parent expect during a personal visit?
The Parent Educator goes prepared to cover specific developmental and/or parenting issues that relate to the age of the child. During each visit the Parent Educator shares handouts and engages the parent and child in activities. This is also a great time for parents to ask questions or inquire about related services.

Are parents asked to purchase anything?
No. In fact, Parent Educators will give ideas of how to use low-cost items that many households may already have on hand. They may also connect parents to community resources that are free or low-cost for families.

Why do we need PAT?
Recent neuroscience research on brain development demonstrates how early experiences shape the way children learn, think, and behave for the rest of their lives. Parents play a critical role in providing these important experiences.

How does PAT help families?
PAT focuses on the early years, prenatal through kindergarten, to help parents understand what to expect during each stage of their child's development. PAT-certified parent educators offer parents practical ways to encourage learning, manage challenging behavior, help ensure health and developmental needs are met, and promote strong parent-child relationships.

How does PAT help children?
In their beginning years, children learn more at a much faster pace than at any other time in their life. Through PAT, parents acquire the skills to help make the most of these crucial early-learning years. Later schooling cannot fully compensate for lack of intellectual stimulation and emotional nurturing in the early years. Investing in good beginnings for children can pay long-term dividends for families, schools, and society.

How does PAT benefit your community?
When Parents as Teachers is implemented in a community, everyone benefits. Through the program, parents become familiar with their community resources and develop good relationships with them from the beginning. PAT positively impacts a community through:

  • children who experience personal and academic success;
  • parents who increase their confidence in their parenting skills;
  • school districts that develop good relationships with parents and enroll children who are ready for school; and
  • government and civic leaders who invest in a cost-efficient child development program.