Parents as Teachers earns prestigious Blue Ribbon designation

Collaborative for Children’s Parents as Teachers program has earned the prestigious Parents as Teacher Blue Ribbon Affiliate designation from the Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., for providing high-quality services to the Houston-area community. Our home-visiting program received the honor on Oct. 15. 

The endorsement validates that Collaborative for Children’s program is one of the top-performing PAT affiliates within PATNC’s international network. Moreover, it affirms that our agency adheres to the evidence-based PAT model and delivers high-quality services that positively affects families and children in our community. 

“This is a great reflection of the commitment and dedication we bring to our work every day,” said Whitney Sudhalter, PAT program manager, Parents as Teacher. “It’s also a badge of transparency, so people know they can trust us to deliver quality services that support our community’s parents and help our children become school-ready.’’ 

The internationally recognized PAT model equips parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for success in school. The model – backed with 35 years of research-proven outcomes – includes home visits, group connections, child screenings, and connections to community resources.  

“This is a wonderful accomplishment for our home-visiting program, and it aligns perfectly with our goals to increase access to and improve early childhood education for all young children,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, president and CEO, Collaborative for Children. “Helping parents embrace their role as their child’s first teacher is crucial because it’s those early interactions between parent/caregiver and child that nurture a strong educational foundation.”   

PAT affiliates are required to go through a rigorous quality endorsement and improvement process during the initial phase and on an ongoing basis thereafter. The process helps to ensure that programs conform to the PAT model and demonstrate continuous quality improvement. To receive a Blue Ribbon designation, an affiliate must meet all PAT essential requirements and at least 75% of the PAT quality standards. Our program met all the essential requirements and 86% of the quality standards. 

“During the endorsement process, we had to complete a self-assessment of our entire program, standard by standard,” Sudhalter said. “It was an arduous process that, looking back, we are grateful for because it enabled us to determine our strengths and pinpoint areas we need to develop. We definitely came out of this process as a stronger, more cohesive team.”  

The PAT program is considered a highly effective program. Evaluation results show:  

  • Early detection of children's development delays and health problems. 

  • Children enter kindergarten ready to learn, and the achievement gap lessens. 

  • Children achieve school success into the elementary grades. 

  • Parents improve their parenting knowledge and skills. 

  • Parents are more likely to promote children’s language and literacy. 

  • It prevents child abuse and neglect. 

Congratulations to our PAT team members!