Parents As Teachers
Your Baby Was Born To Learn
by Callie Benton
The Parents as Teachers Story
The concept for Parents as Teachers was developed in the 1970s when Missouri educators noted that children were beginning kindergarten with varying levels of learning readiness. Research showed that greater family involvement in children's learning is a critical link in the child's development of academic skills, including reading and writing. Early childhood professionals suggested that a program to help parents understand their role in encouraging their child's development right from birth could help prepare children for school and life success. Such a program, available to all families, would help level the playing field for all children.
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. Convinced of the program's benefits and cost effectiveness, state funding was provided in 1985 to implement the PAT program in all Missouri school districts. Since 1985, Parents as Teachers has expanded to all 50 states and to other countries.
All children will learn, grow and develop to realize their full potential.
To provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.
- 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
- Increase children's school readiness and school success
- The early years of a child's life are critical for optimal development and provide the foundation for success in school and in life.
- Parents are their children's first and most influential teachers.
- Established and emerging research should be the foundation of parent education and family support curricula, training, materials and services.
- All young children and their families deserve the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations.
- An understanding and appreciation of the history and traditions of diverse cultures is essential in serving families.