Tag Archives: home visiting

A Cool Breeze for Washington

It is no doubt going to be a hot summer in Washington, and the political hot air isn’t much help.  A good way for our elected leaders to “chill out” might be to reach agreement on an issue that in the past has had strong bipartisan support.  Support for early learning, particularly the extension and expansion of a current initiative that has proven to have an incredible positive return on investment, might be what is needed to put a welcome chill in the air.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for significant investments in preschool, and expansion of the highly successful federal home visiting initiative, called the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative.  As the President noted, analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis demonstrates a return on investment of up to $18 for every $1 we dedicate to these early learning strategies. 

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is one of the selected evidence based home visiting models that states have adopted to inform and engage parents as the first and most significant teachers of their young children.  In the last year alone, our Parent Educators have made nearly 1.7 million home visits with families across the nation.  A 2007 study by Edward Zigler and Judy Pfannenstiel confirms that high-quality preschool, along with parent education services such as PAT, can virtually eliminate the learning gaps between children from low-income and middle-class families. So we have a strategy that both works, and saves more than it costs. 

PAT was at first adopted by former Missouri Governor Kit Bond, a Republican.  It has since been supported by governors and legislatures of both parties, in states across the nation.  Ask any family who has benefited from PAT, and they will tell you how significant their parent educator was to them in their early years of parenting.  In addition, many of our elected leaders have had personal experience with PAT as young parents. 

The point is that early learning has bipartisan support because it works.  PAT and similar home visiting models are proven to reduce child abuse and malnutrition, identify health and learning problems, and improve the overall physical and mental health of children and mothers. When we deal with these matters early in life, it makes for a healthier nation with more effective parents and higher-achieving children.  It also costs a whole lot less to identify and treat developmental problems early, than to fix them later in life.  

Federal funding for home visiting has benefited hundreds of thousands of families in every state in the nation.  Members of Congress have an opportunity—this year—to extend and expand funding for MIECHV programs that have proven they can make a difference in the lives of children and families. 

Yes, there’s a lot of hot air rising over Washington, and there are clear differences over the budget.  But members of both parties should agree that proven interventions such as home visiting deserve continued and expanded funding.  It is not just the right thing, it is the smart thing to do.

Scott Hippert is President and CEO of Parents as Teachers National Center.



Parents as Teachers answers your questions

Q: What does Parents as Teachers do?

A: We help parents understand child development and connect them to the resources they need to make the best choices for their families. We offer you personal visits customized for the needs of your family. Together on each visit we’ll look at your child’s development and talk about the parenting challenges you face right now, think about family dynamics impacting your child’s development, and build strong protective factors to keep you, your child and your family healthy, strong and resilient.

Q: How does it work?

A: Your personal parent educator is there to provide well-researched information to help you make good parenting decisions and to provide concrete support for you in times of need. Group connections link you to other parents just like you so you can learn and grow together as parents. Regular screenings make sure your child is healthy, safe and developing on track.

Q: How do you know it works?

A: Parents as Teachers is known for its “evidence-based” model, which means it’s been found to be effective based on outcomes and the results of rigorous evaluations. Parents as Teachers children are healthy, safe and ready to learn.

  • They’re healthier.
  • They score higher on kindergarten readiness tests.
  • They’re better problem solvers.
  • They’re more advanced in language and social development.

Q: How do I get it?

A: Find a Parents as Teachers affiliate in your community here. Or contact our headquarters office.

Our approach helps Early Head Start children enter school ready to learn.

Parents as Teachers offers an approach to home visiting that helps achieve Head Start outcomes…an approach that is relationship-based and parenting-focused. Together, our evidence-informed Foundational Curriculum and training prepare staff to promote school readiness and parent engagement, hallmarks of Early Head Start.

Partnering with Parents as Teachers

Some of our best partners are Early Head Start programs…programs that incorporate the Parents as Teachers approach into their existing programming.

In Foundational Training, Early Head Start home visitors learn to work with families in their homes to partner, facilitate and reflect.

  • Training builds relationship-based competencies for working with families in their homes.
  • Focus is placed on strengthening protective factors to improve parenting and maximize child outcomes.
  • Training is facilitated by expert trainers who emphasize reflective practice and hands-on learning.

Looking for a family-friendly center-based curriculum? Talk to Parents as Teachers.

Our Foundational Curriculum features family-friendly activities and resources that engage families in children’s learning and development. The key areas of emphasis are parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting, and family well-being.

Contact Parents as Teachers.

None of us is as smart as all of us.

It’s called teamwork: a collective effort to reach a single goal…often a goal so big, hairy and audacious there can’t be one single solution.

What could be a bigger goal than raising a generation to be healthy, safe and ready to learn amidst one of the worst economic climates of our time? So teamwork (or collaboration) is what HRSA had in mind for the federal maternal, infant, early childhood home visiting program.

There is no simple solution to improving the health and safety of pregnant women and children, and there’s certainly no single solution.

Which is why even HRSA and the Administration for Children and Families are collaborating on this initiative, bringing together the expertise of nine home visiting models (including Parents as Teachers) who have proven expertise in health care, developmental services for children, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition education or assistance.

Big challenges call for big solutions.
When it comes to our nation’s children, none of us is as smart as all of us working together.

The Parents as Teachers difference

Early childhood is increasingly recognized as a period when investments in healthy development and prevention of child abuse pay high dividends. As a result, communities everywhere are tapping into home visiting programs, like Parents as Teachers.

Home visiting programs offer a spectrum of services to support families with young children. Which is best for your community? That depends.

  • If your goal is to improve outcomes only for teen mothers, Parents as Teachers can do that, but other programs have that demographic as their exclusive focus.
  • If your goal is to reduce child abuse and neglect among high risk parents, Parents as Teachers can do that, too, but other programs focus only on child abuse and neglect.
  • But if your goal is to improve outcomes for young children, including those with special needs, those with teen parents, children in poverty, diverse families of different cultures, children of first-time parents or second, third and fourth-time parents…this is where Parents as Teachers can—and does—bring results.

Parents as Teachers been shown to:

  • increase parental involvement and knowledge
  • increase school readiness and success
  • improve children’s health
  • reduce child abuse and neglect

Only Parents as Teachers has a presence in all 50 states as well as in seven other countries.

Parents as Teachers is everywhere!

Contact Parents as Teachers.

What is Parents as Teachers?

Parents as Teachers is in the business of helping early childhood professionals support families. We are the trusted resource for those who connect families with information, support and encouragement to help their children develop optimally during the early years of life.

Parents as Teachers is about parent/child interaction.

Ours is what’s known as a home visiting model. Home visiting services are part of a continuum of supports for families of young children that strong communities provide to strengthen famlies.

The purpose of home visits is to help parents improve their parenting skills, particularly in the child’s primary learning environment. Through Parents as Teachers, parent educators work to build strong families by fostering positive parent-child relationships.

Whether yours is an organization new to home visiting or one already providing home visits but looking to strengthen outcomes, we can help. It’s easy to find out more.

Why Parents as Teachers Foundational Training?

by Stephanie Brown

At its core, Parents as Teachers is relationship-based and parenting-focused: Parents as Teachers is brought to families in their own homes by trained parent educators whose goal is to help them build on their own strengths. But not all those working with families have the right tools to do that. Enter Parents as Teachers Foundational Training.

Helping parents learn how to support their children’s development has its benefits.

Just as its name implies, Foundational Training builds the foundation for home visiting as a strategy within the early education system and covers three key topic areas:

  • Parent-Child Interaction – Learn about the change process and how to use reflective process to engage parents in their growth
  • Development-Centered Parenting – Seven developmental topics that inform parenting decisions are covered here. Learn to understand parents’ perspectives and to facilitate their ability to problem solve.
  • Family Well-Being – Achieve greater understanding of each family’s system and partner with parents to strengthen protective factors.

Need to add home visiting tools to your toolkit? Register for Foundational Training, or if you’ve already taken it, tell us what you think!

Stephanie Brown is a graduate of Maryville University and an intern at Parents as Teachers.