Parents As Teachers

PAT is a free and voluntary early learning program for parents with children birth to five years of age. The program provides family support including: parent education, child development, development screening, playgroups and service coordination to link families to other available services.

PAT Philosphy

Parents as Teachers, which originated in Missouri in 1981, is based on a philosophy that babies begin learning at birth and that parents are their children's first and most influential teachers. PAT can help you lay a strong foundation for your child's future success in school. PAT is designed to serve all parents-from single, teenage mothers to two-parent families, regardless of income.


As a PAT 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.
  • Group meetings with other parents, where you can share parenting experiences,gain new insights, and talk about topics that interest you, and play with your child.
  • Periodic screening 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 PAT.
  • Referrals to other agencies.

Families may be served through Parents as Teachers for up to five years, or until referred to another program. When age eligible, referral is made to the Great Start Readiness Program, Head Start, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) in public schools, or other tuition preschool or child care programs.

Early Childhood Program Applications

To apply for home-based programs including Parents As Teachers, click a link below.

Online Application-

Early Childhood Program Online Application

Early Childhood Program Options and Income Guidelines 2017-18
Early Childhood Program Options and Income Guidelines 2017-18 Spanish

Paper Applications-

2017-18 Early Childhood Education  Application- English
2017-18 Early Childhood Education  Application- Spanish

For more information on Parents as Teachers check out or contact:

Grace Brandenburg
616-738-8940 Ext. 4070


Parent Educators:


Tami Schippers:
Tami  received her BA in Elementary Education from Hope College. She has 10 years of experience working in the Early Childhood Department at the Ottawa Area ISD and loves working directly with families in Ottawa County. She has three children of her own.

Chrisje Stam:
Chrisje graduated from Hope Collage and has been working as a Home Visitor since 1995. She is married with a son and dog.

Flavia Maccio:
Born in Argentina, Flavia has a BA in International Relations from Universidad de Belgrano. In Buenos Aires, she worked with children and families in different schools for over 10 years. She moved to Ottawa county six years ago. Flavia also works as the Parent Liaison for the Great Start Parent Coalition.

Ellie Cuatt:
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ellie has a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University. She has been working with the ISD for 10 years; four as a Parent Educator and six as an Early On Service Coodinator.

Spanish Speaking Parent Educators:


Chuqui King:
Chuqui King is bilingual and bicultural and has a B.S. in Education.  She has been a State of Michigan licensed social worker for over 30 years having recently retired from the Department of Social Services.