Oftentimes becoming a parent can leave one feeling overwhelmed. It is an ongoing joke that babies don’t come with “owner’s manuals.” The hospital workers hand you this bundle and send you on your way. If you didn’t babysit in the past or have younger siblings, you may feel clueless. Luckily there is an organization in our area available to navigate the early stages of your parenting journey.
Parents as Teachers is an early childhood parent education, family support and school readiness program based on the premise that “all children will learn, grow, and develop to realize their full potential.” It is available free in Muscogee, Lee and Russell Counties to families of children from birth (or prenatally) to kindergarten entry. Grandparents, foster parents, or other caregivers are also eligible to participate in the program.
The essential components of Parents as Teachers are:
λ Parent educators schedule monthly home visits to share research-based information on positive parenting behaviors and child development. Parent-child activities promote attachment, discipline, health, nutrition, safety, sleep, transitions/routines and healthy births. Family well-being includes a focus on family strengths, capabilities, skills and the building of protective factors.
Child health and developmental screenings begin within 90 days of enrollment and provide information about child’s health and developmental progress through on-going tracking of developmental milestones. Parent educators will also carry out adult screenings to identify parental depression, substance abuse and intimate partner violence.
Parent educators organize monthly group connections, through which parents can obtain information, social support and share experiences with their peers. Group Connections include family activities, presentations, community events, parent cafes and ongoing groups.
Parent educators help families identify needs, set goals, connect with appropriate resources and overcome barriers to accessing services.
If you are interested in receiving a guiding hand from Parents as Teachers, contact your local office:
Lee & Russell County: 334-742-2112
Muscogee County: 706-225-3857