From time to time, changes to the Parents as Teachers Essential Requirements are made based on research and feedback from the field. Making necessary updates helps ensure that the PAT model maintains its strong evidence base. However, we understand there can be challenges associated with changes to the Essential Requirements. Therefore, Parents as Teachers National Center has made a commitment to put changes to the PAT Essential Requirements on a 5-year cycle to minimize the disruption to programs and allow for adequate adoption and evaluation. This means that updates to the Essential Requirements will occur at the beginning of the 2025-2026 program year and not again until the 2030-2031 program year.
As part of this commitment, we will also provide a comment period for any proposed change. Parents as Teachers National Center values the experience of the supervisor and parent educators and takes your feedback very seriously. Feedback will be closely reviewed by PAT staff and senior leadership and used to inform final decisions about changes to the Essential Requirements. Feedback on the proposed changes can be accessed here. https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=3QmHdDglK0WGsfvLpLXliZ6wf3Tk2YNCu_pguPAHecFUOEQ4VFVQNFNXSUQ1Q09QWk5RRU5ZMEQ0Mi4u
Feedback is due November 15, 2023.
In addition, final change decisions will be announced one year prior to implementation. For example, if there are changes made to the Essential Requirements for the 2025-2026 program year, they will be announced no later than July 1, 2024.
There are three proposed changes to the PAT Essential Requirements that we would like you feedback on at this time:
- Lower the maximum number of personal visits allowed in a month per parent educator.
- Require affiliate supervisors to maintain model certification.
- Require supervisors to obtain 20 hours of professional development per year.
Rationale for each proposed changed
Lower the maximum number of personal visits allowed in a month per parent educator.
Given the full array of parent educator responsibilities, most programs recognize they must set the number of visits to be completed by full time parent educators monthly much lower than the current essential requirement. This can present challenges because when funders see that the requirement allows a maximum number of 60 visits/month, they often conclude that is the number of visits that should be completed per month. As a result, funding is not always adequate for more appropriate caseload size.
The Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process provides us with data that supports an adjustment to this essential requirement. Of affiliates that earned the blue ribbon in 2021, 98% met quality standard 44 which states: Full-time first-year parent educators complete no more than 40 visits per month during their first year and full-time parent educators in their second year and beyond complete no more than 50 visits per month. 100% of the affiliates that earned the blue ribbon in 2022 met this quality standard. This data suggests that many affiliates are well-positioned to be able to meet the proposed adjustment.
There is a negative impact on staff morale and retention when expectations of the work exceed what is possible or reasonable. A lower number of visits per month recognizes the breadth of parent educator responsibilities and allows staff to fully engage in planning, delivering, and documenting high-quality services.
Require affiliate supervisors to maintain Model certification.
Maintaining model certification allows supervisors to retain access to the PAT curricula, as well as key training opportunities and resources. Access to the PAT curricula is necessary for supervisors to provide optimal supervision and to deliver services to families when there is turnover, or a parent educator is on medical leave. Gaps in service delivery can be decreased when a model certified supervisor provides personal visits during times of staff leave and turnover.
Require supervisors to obtain 20 hours of professional development per year.
Parents as Teachers affiliate supervisors are responsible for the healthy functioning of the affiliate and for model fidelity, which includes a large variety of administrative and programmatic activities. Providing quality supervision to an affiliate is a demanding job.
Parents as Teachers supervisors are typically responsible for one or more of the following tasks:
- Program leadership and staff management
- Reflective supervision and Staff meetings
- Quality assurance, reporting, and continuous quality improvement
- Administration and financial management
- Coordination/delivery of professional development
Ongoing competency-based professional development will support them in these tasks. It is likely supervisors are currently receiving 20 hours of professional development but not being recognized for it.