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About Parents As First Teachers (PAFT)


PAFT is based on the philosophy that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.


The aim of the PAFT programme is to help parents to participate more effectively in their children's early development and learning.

PAFT can help families to:

  • understand how their child grows and develops
  • encourage their child’s growth and development
  • ensure their child’s safety and well being
  • gain confidence in their parenting skills
  • get the support and professional assistance they may need for their child’s health and development.

PAFT can help a child:

  • develop good language skills
  • increase their ability to problem solve
  • develop social skills
  • have any potential health and learning problems detected.


PAFT is based on research from the Harvard University preschool project, which resulted in the Parents as Teachers programme being developed in Missouri, USA.

PAFT in New Zealand

In New Zealand, PAFT is funded by the government and administered by Community Investment.