What is Parents as Teachers?

Did you know, ParentPal has a Buy One Give One donation program? For every annual subscription purchased, ParentPal donates a free subscription to a family in need by collaborating with highly reputable nonprofits. This month, we’ve partnered with Parents as Teachers to help children everywhere thrive.

What is Parents as Teachers?

Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based parent education and family engagement model serving families from pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten. Families are connected with community resources and receive personal visits—typically in their homes—from certified parent educators; participate in group meetings; and, are given developmental, health, hearing, and vision screenings.

The Parents as Teachers model is adaptable to the needs of diverse families, cultures, and special populations, and focuses on four key outcomes:

  • increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices;
  • provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues;
  • prevent child abuse and neglect; and,
  • increase children’s school readiness and school success.

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, five other countries, and one territory.

What kind of impact does Parents as Teachers have on families?

According to their 2019-2020 Affiliate Performance Report, Parents as Teachers served more than 88,000 families and 108,000 children through 979,082 personal visits by more than 4,700 parent educators.

Here’s some more information on their global impact:

Why does the Parents as Teachers model work?

Parents as Teachers maintains that when parents spend time connecting and playing with their children, it boosts child development and strengthens parent-child bonds. During home visits, parent educators support parents in the observation of their child. They point out developmental milestones as they happen, and discuss how their child’s development can impact their parenting interactions and responses.

How will ParentPal help support Parents as Teachers families?

The ParentPal app has readily available, developmentally appropriate parent-child activities. Parents can track their child’s developmental milestones and then share those observations with their parent educators. Parent educators can be added as a member of the family’s care team, allowing all caregivers to collaborate and implement the best care plan for a child.