Parents As Teachers

Why enroll in PAT?

As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. You begin teaching your baby during pregnancy through your touch and your voice. From the start, you shape your child’s future by providing a variety of experiences. Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a family education and support program that begins with prenatal development and extends through age 5. 


In PAT, you are supported by certified parent educators who use the Born to Learn Curriculum that translates scientific information on early brain development into concrete suggestions on ways to teach and nurture your child.

Benefits of PAT

In the first few years, children learn more and at a faster pace than at any other time in life. Through PAT, parents acquire knowledge and skills to make the most of these crucial, early learning. The program provides timely information on child development and neuroscience research; involves you in parent-child activities that encourage language development, intellectual growth, social developments and motor skills; and strengthens your relationship with your child. 

A program that works

Independent evaluations of the PAT program have shown: 

PAT children 

  • At age 3 are significantly more advanced in language, social development, problem solving and other cognitive abilities.
  • Score higher on kindergarten readiness test and on standardized measures of achievement in early grades.

PAT parents 

  • Are more involved in their children’s schooling.  Parental involvement is key to children’s success in school.
  • Are more confident in their parenting role and read more to their children. 


PAT Families Receive:

Personal Visits: Certified Parent Educators trained in child development and home visiting come to your home. The educators help you understand each stage of your child’s development and offer practical tips on ways to encourage learning. Visits occur about every 6 weeks. 

  • Group Meetings: Meetings are help to provide an opportunity to learn and share information about parenting issues and child development with other parents. 
  • Screenings: PAT offers periodic screenings of overall development, language, hearing and vision. The goal is to provide a clear understanding of your child’s growth and development.  
  • Other Resources: PAT helps families link with special services, if needed, that are beyond the scope of this program. 

The Oak Ridge R-VI Parents as Teachers program is offered free to any family in the school district that has children prenatal to five years of age. Children are continually learning throughout their lives and the first three years are very important. Parents are their child’s first and most influential teachers. 

The Parents as Teachers program consists of home visits, a center visit, group meetings, developmental screenings and information about the stages and milestones your child has accomplished or will be mastering soon.  Handouts give ideas on ways parents can help children through each developmental stage. Activities for parent and child to do together are demonstrated. The home visit lasts about one hour.  Parents will receive five contacts throughout the school year if you have children birth through three years of age. Three contacts are offered to families that have children three to five years of age. 

We are currently enrolling new families for the school year.  If you or someone you know has children between the ages of birth through five years of age and live in the Oak Ridge School District, please contact the Parents As Teachers educator at 573-266-3232.