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Parents as Teachers Evidence Based Program

For 20 years, the Kansas State Department of Education has administered the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, a unique and evidence-based home visitation program recognizing parents as their child’s first and most important teacher.
Authorization for program: 
K.S.A. 72-3603 et seq. the Parent Education Program authorizes school districts to receive grants to provide expectant parents and parents of infants and toddlers (definition changed in 2008 to any child under the age of eligibility for school attendance) with advice, assistance, resource materials, guidance, parenting skills, positive approach to discipline and development of a positive self-esteem.

History and Goals:
As a unique and proven two-generational program, Kansas Parents as Teachers (PAT) is designed to provide evidence-based parent education that builds on family goals and strengths to enhance children’s early learning. Kansas PAT began in 1990 with 92 school districts ($980,000) and has expanded to more than 200 school districts ($7.5 million) serving 15,197 families and 19,314 children in 2008-09.

Kansas Parents as Teachers is a Partnership:

Local school districts contributed $5.8 M to match $7.5 M in state funds providing PAT to more families in communities.

Kansas Healthy Families America and many Early Head Start programs blend the Parents as Teachers model with their program.

Parents As Teachers has four goals:
1. Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices.

Parents As Teachers parents were found to engage in effective child-rearing practices, such as enrolling their children in quality child care, leading to children's increased school readiness and later school success. The length of Parents As Teachers enrollment also had a significant effect on positive parenting practices (Zigler, Pfannestiel and Seitz, 2008) 

Parents As Teachers parents read more to their children, use more techniques to support book/print concepts and have more children’s books in the home (Albritton, Klotz & Roberson, 2004; Research Training Associates, 2006; Zigler, Pfannenstiel & Seitz, 2008).

2. Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues.

At age 3, Parents As Teachers children were more likely to be fully immunized for their given age and were less likely to be treated for injury in the previous year (Wagner, Iida & Spiker, 2001).
Based on Kansas School Readiness Data, children whose families participated in PAT:

  • Have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) at Kindergarten Entry
  • Are more likely to be fully immunized at age 2
  • Are more likely to be identified at an earlier age if there are health or developmental concerns resulting in referral to school and community services for early intervention

3. Reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect

Parent educators, using the PAT curriculum, provide parents with knowledge and realistic expectations of age-appropriate developmental milestones and behaviors, information about parenting topics and ways that parents can support their children's development and learning.

4. Increase children's school readiness and school success

Participating parents were more likely to regard their school district as responsive to their children’s needs. (Pfannenstiel & Seltzer, 1985, 1989).
Based on Kansas School Readiness Data, children whose families participated in PAT:

  • Score higher in symbolic development, math concepts, written language and oral communication
  • Are more likely to have parents who read to them daily resulting in higher school readiness scores at Kindergarten and 3rd grade.

Research and Quality
Kansas Parents As Teachers: An Overview  (PowerPoint)
Kansas Parents As Teachers Annual Program Reports



Early Childhood, Special Education, Title Programs Team Director:
Colleen Riley

Early Childhood Coordinator
Gayle M. Stuber

Early Childhood Special Education Consultant
Barbara A. Dayal

Parents as Teachers Consultant
Janet Newton, MS

Senior Administrative Assistant
Beccy Strohm

Team Pages

Main Team Page
Early Childhood
Special Education
Title Services
Reports and Collections
Fact Sheets
Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) (external link)
Kansas’ Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) (external link)

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Problems with this page contact:
Evelyn Alden

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