Parents as Teachers Program - Erie Family Center



Parents as Teachers Program

How Does Parent as Teachers Work?
The vision, is that all children will learn, grow, and develop to realize their full potential. The goals of the program are:

  • Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parents’ practices.
  • Provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues.
  • Prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Increase children’s school readiness and school success.


Providing parent education and support to families.

Being a parent is the most important, and sometimes, the hardest job you will ever have. Of course, you want what is best for your children: good health, quality education, a safe neighborhood, and hope for a bright future. At the Erie Family Center, we believe that “Parents are their child’s first and most important teachers!” Our family support programs provide services through skilled staff, all in the comfort of your own home and at our family-friendly center.

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a strong evidence-based, home-visiting model that provides parent education and support to families, especially those in challenging situations. PAT certified professional parent educators bring the program to families with an emphasis on parent-child interaction, development centered parenting, and family well-being.

Our PAT program is available at no cost to any family in Erie County and serves families through pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten, usually at age 5. By focusing on the early years, PAT helps parents understand what to expect during each stage of the child’s development.

The Parents as Teachers Born to learn model includes four components: Personal Visits, Resource Network, Group Connections, and Screening.


Personal Visits

Personal visits are the basis of the program and are monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly. During these visits, parent educators share:

  • Age-appropriate child development information with parents
  • Help them learn to observe their own child as they reach developmental milestones
  • Address parenting concerns
  • Engage the family in activities that provide meaningful parent-child interaction.

Resource Network

We distribute to any family in need regardless of income or family situation. Everyone needs help sometimes and this is an integral part of our program that differentiates us from any other diaper program offered in Erie. There are no income or location qualifications, the Diaper Depot program at the Erie Family Center is open to anyone that needs help in Erie County.

Group Connections

Parent group connections provide opportunities to share information about parenting issues and child development. Parents learn and support each other, observe their children amongst their peers, and practice parenting skills.


Periodic developmental, health, hearing, and vision screenings provide for early identification of developmental delays and other related issues. A regular review of each child’s developmental progress identifies strengths as well as areas of concern that may require follow-up services.


The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

Peggy O'Mara

Parents as Teachers Referral Form

This form is to be completed by anyone interested in enrolling in our family support programs. Once completed, one of our staff will contact you to get your customized family plan started.