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Parents as Teachers

Early Childhood and Family Development

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a free evidenced-based early learning program that promotes optimal child development by supporting and engaging parents and caregivers. The program is currently available to families in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties.


PAT is based on the philosophy that babies begin learning at birth and that parents and guardians are their children’s first and most influential teachers. PAT can help parents and guardians lay a strong foundation for their child’s future success in school. PAT is designed to serve all parents – from single to teenage mothers to guardians and two-parent families, regardless of income.


As a participant, you'll receive the following services:

  • Personalized home visits by a certified parent educator, specially trained in child development and eager to help you give your child a great start in life.
  • Group meetings (Group Connections and Parent Cafés) with other parents and guardians where you can share parenting experiences, gain new insights, talk about topics that interest you, and play with your child.
  • Periodic screenings to ensure that your child has no undetected learning, sensory (hearing or visual), or developmental problems.
  • A network of resources that can help you with special services you may want that are beyond the scope of our PAT program.


  • Pregnant women and/or families of children, birth through kindergarten
  • Reside in Dauphin or Perry County
To enroll in our PAT program, families or referring service providers should call (717) 232-9757.

Upcoming Events

Parent Cafés are a place where parents of all types can gather and share their stories, their experiences, their worries, their fears, their wisdom, and find community and strength.  Parent Cafés are for any parent or caregiver with a child prenatal to 5 years of age. 

Group Connections are one of the four components of the Parents as Teachers program. These intentionally planned events provide opportunities to share information about parenting issues and child development with a group of families.