Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an in-home family education program that offers free and voluntary support for parents with children from prenatal to kindergarten entry. The program is designed to give all children the best possible start in life.
It is geared to help parents make the most of these crucial learning years, by being their child’s first and most important teacher. PAT promotes parent involvement in language and intellectual growth, as well as motor and social skills.
Parents as Teachers is the overarching program philosophy of providing parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. The Parents as Teachers National Center drives that philosophy through four components (personal visits, group connections, screening and resource network) and three key areas of emphasis (parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting, and family well-being).
The Parents as Teachers National Model includes these components of parent education and family support:
- Personal Visits: Individualized, strength-based visits where parent educators focus on child development and parent-child interaction. The training and the curriculum, together with the parent educator’s interpersonal and communication skills, bring a valuable service to families, resulting in measurable impacts.
- Resource Network: A network of community resources that parents can deploy as needed. It is essential that programs build comprehensive, collaborative, and community-based partnerships that build on family strengths, support long-term self-sufficiency, and impact real long lasting change. Because families often are not aware of the services available in their community, the parent educator assumes a kind of “broker of services” role, bridging the gap between resources available and families’ needs.
- Group Connections: An opportunity for parents to share experiences, discuss problems, learn from other parents, support one another, observe their child with other children, and practice parenting skills. In addition, child development information is shared and social connections between parents are fostered.
- Screening: Tools to help parents understand their child’s development, recognize strengths, and identify areas of concern that might suggest the need for follow-up services. These include overall health, vision, and hearing screenings performed by home visiting professionals.
If you are pregnant, you can enroll yourself, or if you have children under age 5, you can enroll today! You can call our office at (304) 748-7850 for more information or enroll!
Refer to the website for the National Parents as Teachers Center at www.ParentsAsTeachers.org