Always striving to improve our services and the Minneapolis community, Way to Grow’s Family Educators have participated in a week-long training, and we have now become a part of the Parents as Teachers (PaT) network as an affiliate.
PaT promotes optimal early development, learning, and health of young children by engaging and supporting their parents and caregivers through an evidence-based education model rather than an evidence-informed education model. With PaT, Way to Grow will be following a home visiting curriculum where actual research has been conducted on the specific topics within the curriculum.
Founded in 1984, the PaT network serves more than 195,000 children in all 50 U.S. states, over 100 Tribal organizations, five other countries, and one U.S. territory. PaT has four primary goals:
- Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parent practices
- Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues
- Prevent child abuse and neglect
- Increase children’s school readiness and success.
This model has been rigorously tested by peer-reviewed studies and shown to produce results. More than a dozen outcome studies have been done on the effects of the PaT model. The evaluations have been verified and supported by various states, school districts, universities, research organizations, and private foundations. Evaluation results show:
- Children’s developmental delays and health problems are detected early
- Children enter kindergarten ready to learn and the achievement gap is narrowed
- Children achieve school success into the elementary grades
- Parents improve their parenting knowledge and skills
- Parents are more involved in their children’s schooling
- Families are more likely to promote children’s language and literacy.
As a first step, our Family Educators are currently training on a home visiting curriculum focused on the prenatal stage to age three. Later this year, they will attend an additional training that will extend the curriculum to age 5, adding in academically driven session that go along with Way to Grow’s readiness numbers.