Parents as Teachers

A fun, free, early learning program for USD 231 parents with children birth to three years of age!

Call Carol Vawter at 913-856-3035 or complete the online enrollment form.

Kids don’t come with directions. Parents As Teachers can help.

As a child's first teacher, a parent can make a difference. During the years between birth and 3 there are important times when specific kinds of learning…language, social and emotional development, motor skills…must take place for your child to grow and develop to their fullest potential. Parents As Teachers, a parent education and family support organization, can help you capture those windows of opportunity so your child starts school ready to succeed. Parents of children younger than 36 months can join this free program that is personalized to meet the needs of individual families. The program is part of the National Parents As Teachers program and follows its curriculum. Being a parent is a hard job and is the most important job parents will ever have. And as a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. This free voluntary program is designed to help Gardner/Edgerton families in the following areas:

PAT SERvices

Personalized Monthly Home Visits:

Are made by a certified parent educator trained in child development and educated in the latest brain research on early learning. During these visits, the parent educator shares age-appropriate growth and development information and gives the parents practical and concrete suggestions on ways to manage challenging behaviors. Special time is given to focus on a parent-child activity that will enhance the parent-child relationship and encourage learning.

Developmental Screenings

Can help parents identify any potential concern before it becomes an obstacle to the child’s development. If additional help is needed, the PAT staff provides referrals. The screenings can be done during home visits or on parent request; children are screened for hearing, vision, language, motor skills, intellectual and social development. For your child to receive a developmental screening, contact Carol Vawter at 913-856-3035.


For parents and children are offered at the PAT Play Center at Nike Elementary, 19500 S Gardner Rd. Come to the back of the school to park. Inside the white picket fence where the PAT playground is located is the Play Center door. Playgroups are a wonderful time for children to have opportunities to practice their social and emotional skills. Parents follow their child’s lead in play and meet other parents with young children.

Morning playgroups

Are from 10-11:00 a.m. the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month from September to May (except January which is Wednesday 1/10 and 1/24).


group connections

Are scheduled meetings throughout the year where parents can meet with experts who share information about early childhood development, or come to enjoy parent/child activities. Call Carol at 856-3035 for current group connections and join in on the fun. This year we will offer: Baby Sing and Sign, Potty Training, Positive Parenting classes, Motor Night, Block Fest, Music Night, and Art Night.

Resource Networking

A family can find community resources at My Resource Connection, Johnson County, Kansas ims.jocogov.org/rc. Parent Educators are able to connect you to other resources for your family's well being.


Kansas Highway Patrol

1220 E Enterprise, Olathe, KS 66061. Call 913-782-8100 for an appointment.

Johnson County Sheriff Department

119th and Ridgeview, Olathe KS 66061. Call 913-715-5598 for appointment 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F.


Amber Hildreth, Parent Educator, 913-856-3064 Email: hildretha@usd231.com
Julie Hudson, Parent Educator, 913-856-3149, Email: hudsonj@usd231.com

Julie Bachelor, Parent Educator, 913-856-3065, Email: bachelorj@usd231.com

Julie Strickland, Parent Educator, 913-856-3066, Email: stricklandj@usd231.com
Carol Vawter, PAT Coordinator/Educator, 913-856-3035, Email vawterc@usd231.com

PAT Office Fax, 913-856-3054

Parents as Teachers Center is located at the Nike Elementary School, 19500 S. Gardner Road, Gardner, KS

Click here for Parents as Teacher's facebook page.