As soon as a child is born, parents become the child’s “first” everything; their first love, their first protector and their first teacher. From birth, babies develop and learn and their brains are growing at such a rapid rate, that it is important for parents to be prepared to put on their teaching hat and help their babies learn how to take charge of the new world around them.
The mission of Macon County’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is to teach parents in the community the foundation of what it takes to be their child’s first teachers. PAT is one of the largest evidence-based home visiting models in the country. Its vision is that all children will learn, grow and develop to reach their full potential, and that parents are their earliest and best teachers. Although Parents as Teachers was developed and still is a universal program for all families, today many of the parents who are recruited and participate in the program are single parents, very young parents or families confronted with challenges that range from job loss and poverty to illness and disability.