Being a parent (parents include people with relationships to children which may be biological, adoptive, foster, and might be grandparents, older siblings, or other adults who create a family for a child) is the most important and sometimes hardest job anyone will ever have.
Parents want what is best for children: a loving family, good health, a quality education, to grow up in a safe and caring community, and perhaps most importantly, hope for a bright future. Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs provide parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a strong start in life and great success in school.
PAT is a leader in the field of early childhood parent education and family support, providing an evidence-based model for serving families throughout pregnancy into the child’s first year of school. Founded in Missouri in 1984, PAT is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 250,000 families in all 50 U.S. states, more than 100 Tribal schools and communities, and six countries.
PAT’s affiliate programs deliver services that equip parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children to learn, grow, and develop to realize their full potential. Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers (PA PAT) is part of the international Parents as Teachers program.
Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic’s impact, Pennsylvania PAT affiliates continued to serve families using multiple methods including virtual and place-based services. In fiscal year 2020-2021 the 55 Pennsylvania PAT affiliates provided the four core elements of the PAT EBHV Model with over 65,000 personal visits with families, over 1,400 group connections, over 1,400 child developmental screenings and made over 4,100 resource connections.
Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers State Office
The PA PAT State Office is responsible to develop, support, and sustain high quality PAT Affiliate programs by promoting fidelity to the PAT model, providing implementation support to programs, and guiding programs to achieve positive outcomes with families. The PA PAT State Office also provides supports to PAT Curriculum Partners and Subscribers.
The PA PAT State Office advocates for availability and accessibility of high quality evidence-based home visiting, health care, and early care and education programs for families in Pennsylvania. The PA PAT State Office also works cooperatively with other evidence-based home visiting models to achieve these outcomes.
PAT advocates for children and families, championing equitable systems to support families including parental leadership, maternal and child health, access to early childhood education services, and family economic security at the national level.
Parents as Teachers Model Affiliates
PAT Model Affiliate programs are certified to implement the PAT model in their communities. PAT Model Affiliates regularly monitor their compliance with the Essential Requirements and Quality Standards and pursue continuous quality improvement using the annual Affiliate Performance Report and additional quality assurance tools. Model Affiliate programs must demonstrate meeting Essential Requirements each year.
Parents as Teachers Curriculum Partners
The PAT Curriculum Partner option is a company or organization subscription specifically designed to support Early Head Start/Head Start programs. This option allows home visitors and supervisors to take the Foundational and Foundational 2 research-based, evidence-informed curriculum courses and be certified to use the curriculum, assessments, and reports within their Early Head Start/Head Start home visiting model.
The Curriculum Partners option is designed so that the partner can achieve and maintain curriculum fidelity and meet Early Head Start/Head Start Program Performance Standards. Curriculum Partners have a dedicated workspace within the PAT Learning Management System and access to individualized supports from PAT staff and connections with other PAT Curriculum Partners.
Parents as Teachers Subscribers
Individual home visiting professionals may become PAT Subscribers to utilize the PAT research-based, evidence-informed curricula (Foundational and Foundational 2) for their home visiting practice within the early childhood system. This is an individual relationship with PAT and certification to use the curricula is renewed annually.
Parents as Teachers Evidence-Based Home Visiting Model
The PAT Evidence-Based Home Visiting Model is the comprehensive home visiting, parent education model that provides services to families from the prenatal period through the time their children are in the first year of school.
There are four dynamic components to the PAT Model:
• Personal Visits.
• Group Connections.
• Resource Network.
• Child Health and Development Screening.
Families set goals based on strengths-based family assessments and conversations with family members that bring focus to family health and stability.
More than a dozen studies demonstrate that the PAT Model makes a measurable difference in the lives of parents and their children. Our model program services show that:
• Children’s developmental delays and health problems are detected early.
• Children enter kindergarten ready to learn and the achievement gap is narrowed.
• Children achieve school success into the elementary grades.
• Parents improve their parenting knowledge and skills.
• Parents are more involved in their children’s schooling.
• Families are more likely to promote children’s language and literacy.
• Child abuse and neglect is prevented.