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Nineteen Parents as Teachers programs in Kansas, including the USD 489 Parents as Teacher program, have been designated Blue Ribbon Affiliates by the Parents as Teachers National Center, the Kansas State Department of Education announced recently.

The USD 489 Parents as Teachers program is part of the Early Childhood Connections family.  Parent Educator, Dayna Schmidt currently serves all 40 local families.  

"Dayna is the key to our program success," said PAT Supervisor, Dana Stanton.  "Parenting can be an overwhelming process.  Dayna is extremely effective at providing appropriate information and support to the families we serve."

This endorsement is the highest designation a Parents as Teachers program can earn and means the program implements the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model with fidelity and quality, according to the Parents as Teachers website.

The Parents as Teachers affiliate model includes home visits, group connections, child screenings and connections to community resources. It helps equip parents with the knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a strong start in life and greater success in school.

Parents as Teachers affiliates are required to engage in a quality endorsement and improvement process in their fourth year of implementation and every five years thereafter, according to To earn the quality endorsement, affiliates must complete a comprehensive self-study and review process that demonstrates they are meeting or exceeding Parents as Teachers essential requirements, along with at least 75 of the 100 quality standards.

“Programs that earn the Quality Endorsement are recognized by the national Parents as Teachers office as exemplary Blue Ribbon Affiliates, delivering high-quality services to children and families,” the Parents as Teachers website states.

Parents as Teachers home visitation services are free and open to pregnant mothers and families with young children (under the age of five) who live in the USD 489 school district.  There are no income requirements for Parents as Teachers services.

For more information about USD 489 Parents as Teachers contact Early Childhood Connections at 785-623-2430.