CfC FP ObjectiveSupporting families and parents 
Healthy young families 
Early learning and care 
Delivered toParents/carers and their children
Delivered byCertified parent educators. Parent educators come from the community in which they serve representing a variety of backgrounds and settings which can include family support workers, community workers, psychologists, early childhood workers, educators, supported playgroup facilitators, child protection case managers, Maternal Child Health Nurses and other related professions.  
Delivery settingHome-based
Program developerParents as Teacher National Centre 

About the program

PAT is a voluntary early childhood development and family support program that promotes the optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting and engaging parents and caregivers. 

Program structure

The home-visiting PAT model provides a comprehensive set of services designed to address 7 goals: 

  1. Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve positive parenting practices  
  2. Provide early detection of developmental delays and connection to services  
  3. Improve parent, child and family health and well-being  
  4. Prevent child abuse and neglect  
  5. Increase children’s school readiness and success  
  6. Improve family economic well-being  
  7. Strengthen community capacity and connectedness.

PAT is delivered by parent educators within an affiliate organisation. There are 4 dynamic components to the Parents as Teachers model:  

  1. Personal Visits  
  2. Group Connections  
  3. Resource Network  
  4. Child and Caregiver Screening.

Affiliates follow the essential requirements of the model, which provide minimum expectations for program design, infrastructure and service delivery. PAT provides support for affiliates to meet those requirements as well as further quality standards that represent best practices in the field.  

Facilitator training

The PAT National Centre provides the required online certification training to prepare home visiting professionals to use the Foundational Curriculum in service delivery with families beginning prenatally to age 3, and to understand their roles within the Parents as Teachers approach.  

An additional online training is available to implement the Foundational 2 curriculum to families of children ages 3 to kindergarten. Learners can expect a combination of self-paced online modules and live, online sessions.

Online training is the only option for Australian providers. 


Start-up costs include an initial affiliation fee for the organization and training fees for each person delivering services. On-going costs include an annual affiliation fee and individual renewal fees for certified staff.  

A current pricing schedule can be found on the PAT website

Evaluation and effectiveness

Since 1984, the PAT model has been rigorously tested by peer-reviewed studies and multiple randomised controlled trials. Results have shown the model to produce positive results for families.

View the summary of evidence.


Chaiyachati, B., Gaither, J., Hughes, M., Foley-Schain, K., & Leventhal, J. (2018). Preventing child maltreatment: Examination of an established statewide homevisiting program. Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect, 49:476-484. 

Wagner M, Spiker D, Linn MI. (2002) The effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers program with low-income parents and children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 22(2), 67-81.