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Chicago takes a different tack

Chicago’s Parents As Teachers First program taps community residents to work with families whose children are 3, 4 or 5.

Parents As Teachers, which operates in school districts in 47 states, including Illinois, employs individuals with backgrounds in social work or nursing to work with parents of children aged 0 to 3. At that age, parents have a lot more questions about feeding and childcare than education, says Mildred Winter, executive director of the program’s national center in St. Louis. Parent tutors first attend five days of training and then an additional 20 hours over the course of each year. They must be certified annually.