Missouri Parents as Teachers Professional Development Program

The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is an evidence-based early childhood home visiting framework that builds strong communities, thriving families and children who are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Trained parent educators emphasize parent-child interaction, development centered parenting and family well-being in their work with families. The PAT program has four components: personal visits, group connections, screenings, and resource referrals. Together, these components provide families with children prenatal to kindergarten entry a program of support so that children are able to reach their full potential.

In Missouri, PAT programs are supported through a collaborative partnership that includes the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) - Early Learning Section, the Parents as Teacher National Center (PATNC), and the local school district. Each partner has specific roles and responsibilities that collectively ensure that families in Missouri have access to quality parent education services through the PAT program.

The activities in this project provide on-going professional development and program support designed to strengthen the Parents as Teachers programs in Missouri. Professional development enhances the knowledge base that informs parent educators and program supervisors of their roles and responsibilities and increases their competence in delivering services to families. A team of Missouri PAT Consultants from across the state provide professional development opportunities that include, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), on-site Family Visit Consultations (FVCs), Collaborative Networking Groups (CNGs) and additional Program Assistance and Support (PAS).

These specific activities provide the opportunity for parent educators and program supervisors to enhance their knowledge and skills in implementing the Foundational Curriculum and Model Implementation. The focus of the professional development relates to the five PAT Core Competency areas in the approved curriculum; family support and parenting education, child and family development, human diversity with family systems, health, safety and nutrition and relationships between families and communities.

Parent educators and program supervisors are encouraged to strengthen their knowledge and skills by forming connections with other PAT programs for on-going support and networking.

New and experienced parent educators are able to complete professional development hours required by DESE for initial certification and re-certification.