What Can Parents as Teachers Do for You?

The Parents as Teachers program believes that parents are the first and most important teachers in their child's life. A child's first classroom is their home. To support parents in giving their child the best start possible, we provide services for families with children ages pre-natal through kindergarten entry in the Dexter, Bloomfield, and Richland school districts in Southeast Missouri. We are a free program open to any family in these school districts.

The first five years of a child's life are essential to setting them on a successful path in life. Your child will learn and grow more during this period than in any other time of their life. Our parent educators are here to partner with parents to provide:

  • Child development resources to help grow your knowledge of important milestones, including language, cognitive, social/emotional, and motor development

  • Activities you can do at home with your child

  • Strategies to support development-centered parenting

  • Helpful hints on parenting topics such as attachment, discipline, health, nutrition, safety, sleep, transitions, and routines

  • Connections to resources designed to help you meet your family's goals and needs. Parent educators can connect you to many different resources, including area food banks, medical assistance, financial assistance, child care, and educational resources.

 Services offered by the Dexter/Bloomfield/Richland Parents as Teachers program include:

  • In-home visits with a certified parent educator, who will provide families with all of the information listed above. Your parent educator is there to support you in your parenting journey.

  • Group connections where PAT families can meet and interact with each other. Group connections will provide opportunities to share parent education information, connect families with community resources, and provide fun activities for their children. Examples of our group connections include our annual Breakfast with Santa day and our always-popular Big Truck Night.

  • Developmental screenings for your child to ensure that he or she is meeting developmental milestones. Our developmental screening will check language, cognitive, social/emotional, and motor development, as well as the child's hearing, vision, and dental health.

  • A resource network that will help you meet your family's needs. Parent educators can connect families with all kinds of helpful resources. We can help you set goals to find employment, whether that is starting a new job or finding ways to help you advance in your current job. We can help you find child care, housing, or find food banks if you need help with groceries. Basically, if your family has a need, your parent educator will work hard to help you meet it!

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play IS serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers