Parents As Teachers

 Parents As Teachers Affiliate

Mission Statement

"To provide the information, support, and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life."


The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program focuses on supporting a parent’s role in promoting school readiness and healthy development. The PAT home visitors provide families of children 0-5 years old with information on children’s development and teach parents to encourage their child’s learning. The Parent Educators conduct regular screenings of children’s development, health, hearing and vision, and when necessary provide referrals to community resources.

 Two young girls coloring with markers

In addition to home visits, PAT Parent Educators also provide the families with opportunities to network within group settings. Through regular group meeting and learning parties, families are engaged in activities that promote positive parenting and enhance a parents’ ability to be their child’s first teacher. In these workshops, the PAT home visitor teaches parents skills and strategies to help their child to succeed in school and enjoy learning.  

The Parents As Teachers (PAT) program includes four components:

  • Personal Visits with parents are conducted. Parents learn more about child development and parenting practices.
  • Screening is conducted periodically for PAT children to help parents support their child's growth and development.

Children running under parachute held by parents

  • Group Connections for parents are held to provide opportunities for parents to share information, learn from and support each other.
  • Resource networks are available for parent educators to help families identify and connect with needed resources, and provide access to services.

Parents As Teachers supports individual parents and fosters collaboration among countywide programs serving parents and children. There is no cost for the program. For more information or to enroll your family, please contact Ms. Kaya Swann by calling 410-313-1453 or emailing children@howardcountymd.gov.

Parents As Teachers FAQs

What is Parents as Teachers?

It is an international home visiting program serving parents and their children 0-5 years old. We help parents understand how to positively guide their children's development and teach their children school readiness skills.  Check out full details at www.parentsasteachers.org.  

Is this program researched based?

Yes, it is.  Parents as Teachers is an approved home visiting model meeting the evidence-based criteria of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV)

What does it cost?

FREE!!  Services provided are free of charge to all families in Howard County of young children ages 0-5.

How does the program work?

  • Personal visits with parents are conducted. Parents learn more about child development and parenting practices.   
  • Screening is conducted periodically for PAT children to help parents support their child's growth and development.   
  • Group connections for parents are held to provide opportunities for parents to share information, learn from and support each other.  
  • Resource networks are available for parent educators to help families identify and connect with needed resources, and provide access to services.

Who will be coming to my home?

A certified parent educator will provide the home visit.  Parent educators are certified by the National Parents as Teachers Center.  They are employed by Howard County Office of Children and Families.  The Parent Educators are bachelor's level professionals with experience in child development and community resources.

How often will a Parent Educator meet with my family?

Each Parent Educator works with approximately 20 families and provides each family with a minimum of one (1) monthly home visit.  In addition, families will also be asked to participate in six (6) group meetings per year.

Is Parent As Teachers part of the school system?

Parents as Teachers program is a partnership of many organizations seeking to enhance school readiness.  One of those partners is Howard County Public Schools.

How can I enroll my family?

Referrals can be obtained by calling 410-313-1453 or emailing children@howardcountymd.gov.