Parents as Teachers


Parents as Teachers National Center is an international nonprofit organization that promotes optimal early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. We advance the delivery of high quality services for families through a comprehensive system of supports and innovative solutions.

Our internationally recognized network uses an evidence-based model to deliver parent education primarily through personal visits and group meetings. We equip parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children, from prenatal through kindergarten, for a stronger start in life and greater success in school. Parents as Teachers programs operate in various settings, including schools, hospitals, faith-based organizations and housing communities.

Founded in Missouri in 1984, Parents as Teachers serves more than 195,000 children in all 50 U.S. states, more than 100 Tribal organizations, schools and communities, five other countries and one U.S. territory.

WHAT WE DO

Parents as Teachers is an international, non-profit organization that promotes optimal early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers. We advance the delivery of high quality services for families through a comprehensive system of supports and innovative solutions.

 

Model Developer, Promising Practice Incubator, and Learning Laboratory

Parents as Teachers provides an evidence-based home visiting model and is a center for innovation in promising practices and flexible and adaptive designs. The National Center also informs the delivery of services through the direct administration and delivery of some programs.

 

Curriculum Developer and National Training Center

Parents as Teachers designs and develops quality research-based and evidence-informed curricula and trainings for early childhood family support professionals. Our signature Foundational and evidence-based Model Implementation curricula and trainings prepare home visitors and supervisors to implement effective parenting support programs.  In addition, Knowledge Studio, a line of specialized curricula and trainings, offers professional development to the broader field of early education, health, and human service professionals.

 

Trusted Parenting & Caregiver Resource

Through professionals in our national network of affiliates and partners, we provide parents and caregiver with research-based information and support from pregnancy through Kindergarten.

 

Centralized Support & Evaluation Center

We support evidence based model implementation to our local partners through professional development, implementation support, continuous quality improvement and a quality endorsement process. We facilitate data collection, analysis, evaluation and research to deepen and demonstrate our impact in communities.

 

Advocate and Leader for Children and Families

We advocate for children and families at the state and federal level through community engagement. We convene partners annually for a national home visiting summit, and seek strategic partnerships and cross-sector solutions.

WHO WE ARE

Our Vision

All children will learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential.

Our Mission

Parents as Teachers promotes the optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers.

Our Approach

The Parents as Teachers Approach is to partner, facilitate and reflect. We do this at every level of our organization, from a parent educator visiting a family in their home all the way to the work of the national center.

History

In 1981, Missouri pioneered the concept of helping parents embrace their important role as their child’s first and best teacher. Today, Parents as Teachers continues to equip early childhood organizations and professionals with information and tools that are relevant—and widely applicable—to today’s parents, families and children.

The Parents as Teachers leadership team and Board of Directors is engaged in a three-year strategic plan, which positions the organization as a valued partner to support the organizations and professionals who serve families and children, especially those most vulnerable.

 

The concept for Parents as Teachers was developed in the 1970s when Missouri educators noted that children were beginning kindergarten with varying levels of school readiness. Research showed that greater parent involvement is a critical link in the child’s development of learning skills, including reading and writing.

Early childhood professionals suggested that a program to provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, and parent education to help parents understand their role in encouraging their child’s development from the beginning could help improve school readiness and parent involvement.

 

With funding from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The Danforth Foundation, Parents as Teachers began in 1981 in Missouri as a pilot project for first-time parents of newborns. Recognizing the program’s benefits and cost effectiveness, the Missouri legislature provided state funding in 1985 to implement Parents as Teachers programs in all Missouri school districts. Since 1985, Parents as Teachers has expanded to all 50 states and six other countries.

Grounded in the latest research, Parents as Teachers develops curricula that support a parent’s role in promoting school readiness and healthy development of children. Our approach is intimate and relationship-based. We embrace learning experiences that are relevant and customized for the individual needs of each family and child. As a result, individuals and organizations who use our curricula benefit from our understanding of the evolving needs of today’s families and children.

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