Parents as Teachers Program Has Limited Openings

August 14, 2018

Atlantic, IA – The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program through Cass County Public Health is now enrolling young families in their program; however, space is limited.

PAT Educators Nancy Gibson and Victoria Means provide monthly home visits to families with young children—from prenatal visits through entering Kindergarten. During those visits, they work on getting a complete health history, doing developmental screenings to catch any delays as early as possible, check on immunizations, and much more. Children in the program also have access to free vision, hearing, and dental checks.

PAT provides home visits to help young children grow up healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The PAT educators help communities partner with parents to do a better job of preparing children for a stronger start in life and for greater success in school.

“We’ve been in Cass County for 20 years, and we are a credentialed, evidence-based program,” said Nancy. “We provide support to the parents and kids. It’s not just for the children—it’s about the whole family,” said Nancy.

The families are very active in deciding the goals for the program. Maybe it’s a goal for the child, but it might be a goal for the parent. “We also provide activities that are specifically chosen to meet a need for that family – maybe it’s a game that works on fine-motor development. Or we’ll work on discipline strategies and techniques, language, or healthy back-to-school routines,” said Nancy. “If it’s a goal or concern for that family, then that’s what we are going to work on together.”

Literacy is a major component, and PAT offers a “traveling library.” The educators will bring a selection of books with them for the family to read during the next month, when a new batch of books will be swapped out.

Parents who are interested in the program can contact Nancy at 712-243-7475. Referrals are also welcome—anyone who knows of a family that could benefit from participating is encouraged to call.

“We absolutely love working with these families and seeing these kids grow and succeed,” said Nancy.