|Decision Makers:||Community Members Local Government State Government Grantmakers Public Health Professionals & Advocates|
|Population Reach:||1-9% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a voluntary early childhood parent education and family support program that begins at or before birth and continues until kindergarten (RAND-Karoly 2005). Educators visit parents’ homes to teach them about early childhood development and promote effective parenting strategies (SAMHSA-NREPP). The program also includes developmental screenings of children, parent group meetings, and a resource network that links families with community resources (RAND-Karoly 2005).
There is some evidence that Parents as Teachers (PAT) improves cognitive skills and school readiness among children from families with low incomes (PPN, SAMHSA-NREPP, Welsh 2014, YG-PAT). PAT can also have positive effects on child development (Avellar 2013). Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.
PAT can increase children’s cognitive skills in some circumstances, especially among families with lower incomes (PPN). For example, children from families with low incomes who participate in PAT show higher cognitive development scores than non-participating peers at 24 months old. Some studies suggest significant gains in child development for children in certain groups, such as those in Latino families who primarily speak Spanish, or under specific circumstances, for example, families who receive intensive services (Welsh 2014). PAT can also increase children’s school readiness (SAMHSA-NREPP, PPN), both by improving parenting skills and helping parents enroll their children in preschool. By increasing school readiness for children in low income families, PAT can help reduce disparities in academic outcomes (Zigler 2008).
Implementing PAT via parent educators who have received empowerment training can improve maternal health literacy (Carroll 2015). Overall, however, PAT has not demonstrated effects on participants’ health care use or coverage (Avellar 2013).
Training for PAT parent educators costs $700 to $800 (PAT). After start-up expenses, the PAT program cost approximately $2,500 per family served in 2010 for those receiving twice-monthly visits (SAMHSA-NREPP). Costs may vary by program intensity.
There are Parents as Teachers (PAT) affiliates in all 50 states and Washington DC, as well as Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (PAT). PAT has offices in 24 states and offers training around the nation (US DHHS ACF-PAT).
PAT is an approved model for federal home visiting programs. Funds from the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program are being used in 29 states to implement or expand use of the PAT model (OPRE-Michalopoulos 2015).
PAT is offered in 22 locations in Wisconsin (PAT).
* Journal subscription may be required for access.