Parents As Teachers (PAT) Program
A parent is a child’s first and most important teacher. This FREE program is designed to provide parents with information and to help build their children’s intellectual, language, social, and physical development from prenatal to 5 years old.
Parents as Teachers is funded by the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV supports pregnant women and families and helps at risk parents or children from birth to kindergarten entry. Families tap into multiple resources and hone the skills needed for parents to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Parents as Teachers is a free and voluntary program available to any Bonneville, Jefferson, Madison, Fremont, Teton, Custer, Clark, or Lemhi County resident who is pregnant or has a child up to 5 years of age. Families will receive education through fun activities, referrals to resources in our community, and free children’s health screening which include vision, hearing and development screenings.
Our vision is all children will develop, learn and grow to realize their full potential.
Our mission is to promote optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers.
- Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and parenting practices.
- Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues.
- Prevent child abuse and neglect.
- Increase children’s school readiness and school success.
The once or twice monthly home visits are tailored to the family’s needs, preferences, culture and promote family engagement. Through home visiting we focus on the five protective factors: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need and social/emotional competence of children. This is accomplished through three main components of a home visit:
- Parent-child interactions – Families and their parent educator determine what activity will be focused on during each visit to help build the attachment and interaction of the parent and child.
- Developmental centered parenting- The PAT curriculum features seven developmental topics: attachment, discipline, health, nutrition, safety, sleep and transitions/routines. Developmental centered parenting happens when a parent understands and observes their child’s developmental progress and adapt their parenting behaviors to meet their child’s needs based on development.
- Family well-being- Families are not able to engage effectively with their child when the basic needs are not being met. Home visitors help the family by identifying needs, providing information, resources, or ideas, but then empowering the family to decide what is important, who best can support them and what actions need to be taken to get their needs met and goals reached.