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The Up Center’s Early Childhood Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visitation services support more than 150 families with young children in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. Their model program empowers parents during the critical early years of their children’s lives, from conception to kindergarten. Through home visits and group meetings, PAT supports parents in promoting school readiness and healthy development of their children.

Funding from their Maximus grant award allowed home visits to continue at no cost to their clients. During these visits, trained staff assist new parents to manage postpartum depression, among other issues. These strategic interventions help address disparities in maternal and infant mortality and help new parents navigate the complicated healthcare system.

Shenika was one of last year's new parents in the PAT program. She enrolled intending to open her own home healthcare business and create a stable home environment for herself and Deandre, her 4-year old son. One year later, Shenika graduated the program, and Deandre entered kindergarten. With the tools she gained in the program, she secured stable housing for her family and successfully opened her own business.

In addition to the Parents as Teachers program, The Up Center

  • Provides educational training on safe sleep
  • Distributes portable cribs
  • Offers CPR training
  • Hosts a “Llama, Llama, Pajama Party” where they distribute pajamas and children’s books
  • Provides new parents with holiday food baskets and gifts

Learn more about The Up Center and its impact at