What is Parents as Teachers?

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an in-home visitation program for parents with children ages birth to age 5. The PAT program provides parents with child developmental knowledge and parenting support, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children’s school readiness. The PAT model includes one-on-one home visits, monthly group meetings, developmental screenings, and a resource network for families. Parent Educators conduct the home visits using structured visit plans and guided planning tools. PAT Educators offer at least 12 one-hour home visits annually (more are offered to higher-need families) and offer a monthly Group Connection for PAT families. PAT serves families for at least two years between pregnancy and kindergarten entry. PAT Educators provide parents with information on child development and suggests learning opportunities that encourage the development of language, intellect, and physical and social skill.

In the following counties:

Iowa  |  Jefferson |  Keokuk |  Mahaska |  Wapello

A program of the Mahaska/Wapello Early Childhood Iowa and
the Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa areas.

Contact Us

Program Manager Nick Kecy


In-home and virtual visits are available.

Components of Parents As Teachers

Personal Visits

Personalized home visits by certified parent educators help parents understand what to expect in each stage of their child’s development. The parent educators offer practical tips and activities on ways to encourage school readiness, early literacy, manage challenging behavior, and promote strong parent-child relationships. The program teaches parents simple techniques, based on scientific research that will stimulate the brain development of their child.

Group Meetings

Parents get together monthly to gain new insights and to share their experiences, common concerns and successes. Group meetings also provide the families with the opportunity to participate in parent-child activities.


PAT offers a periodic screening of overall development as well as health, safety, language, hearing, vision, and dental screening. The goal is to provide early detection of potential problems to prevent difficulties later in school.

Resource Network

Families can access other early childhood services integrated with the PAT program as well as get assistance in linking/referring families to community services that are beyond the scope of PAT.

The Parents As Teachers program is based on the national curriculum of the National Center for Parents As Teachers in St. Louis Missouri. All home visitors have attended training at the National Center and are certified PAT Educators.

Income guidelines

75% of families enrolled in PAT must have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. 25% of the families may be universal families (no income guidelines for eligibility).

PAT Group Connections

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PAT Story Stretchers

Dream Catcher Activities

Story Connected:

Read-Aloud by
Yuyi Morales

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PAT Story Stretchers

Snow Activities

Song Connected:
The Snowy Day Read-Aloud

Animated Story by
EJK Foundation

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PAT Story Stretchers

Container Activities

Song Connected:
Five Little Speckled Frogs & 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive!

By CoComelon Nursery
Rhymes & Kids Songs

By CoComelon Nursery
Rhymes & Kids Songs

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Parents as Teachers’ Impact on Health Fact Sheet

There is a growing recognition that home visiting is an effective strategy for improving health outcomes for young children.

See how Parents as Teachers is an effective strategy to impact health with this updated Parents As Teachers Fact sheet.