Parents as Teachers
Parents as Teachers is a FREE program that offers parents:
- Research based information on how children grow and develop
- Types of activities and toys that will foster learning and nurture development
- Methods of positive discipline, new techniques for problem solving, setting realistic expectations of child behavior, and helping to raise children’s self-esteem
Most families with young children—prenatal up to age five—can enroll, although we prefer to enroll children under the age of 3 so that they get the maximum benefit from the program. Any parent who feels their child is not developing at a proper rate is eligible for PAT, no matter their income level. However, priority is given to:
- pregnant women who have not attained age 21
- users of tobacco products in the home
- child with developmental delays or disabilities
- families that include current or former members of the armed forces
- low income
- low student achievement
- history of substance abuse or need substance abuse treatment
- history of child abuse or neglect or interactions with child welfare services
Personal Home Visits
Home visits usually take place every other week, but can be more frequent at parents’ request. Each home visit consists of activities that focus on three areas:
- Family’s well-being
- Parent-child interactions
- Child’s physical, mental, and neurological development
All activities and learning topics are customized based on your child’s age and stage of development. We understand that not all children develop at the same rate, even in the same family!
Visits last about an hour, and times are flexible so that all families can participate.
Group connection events are designed to foster parent-child interaction, so that parents can learn by observing their own child with other children. Events are typically held at various locations with the opportunity for children to participate in a theme-based activity. These group meetings allow parents to share ideas, express concerns, and obtain additional parenting information.
Group connections are held on the last Thursday of each month; a free meal is provided. Call 406-791-9296 for more information.
Parent educators provide screenings that monitor and record your child’s milestones. Screenings include language, cognitive, motor, personal/social, and emotional development—as well as vision, hearing, and general health markers.
Screenings serve two purposes: to reassure parents when the child’s development is on target, and to assist parents by identifying any potential problems.
Community Resource Network
During home visits and group connections, PAT educators also help families connect with community resources as needed. Educators can find resources to help with nutrition education, housing, food, clothing, breastfeeding support, and more! They’ll follow up, too, to make sure parents got what they needed and to address any barriers that may have occurred.