First Teacher

A Toolkit for Parents and Caregivers

First Teacher is a program of Parenting Matters Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents in their most important job as their child's First Teacher. We provide parent education materials (monthly newsletter &amp developmental cards) for parents of preschool children from pregnancy to pre-kindergarten.

This program is currently available in several school districts (see Programs) in Washington State and by individual subscription.

What do we do

We provide researched-based parenting information through a monthly newsletter, either electronically or a print version. We include articles on topics such as child development, early literacy, bonding, teaching responsibility, health & safety issues, activities to do with your child, maintaining your relationship with your partner, and appropriate discipline. Current research on topics such as infant brain development can be complex to readers and not easily accessible. We take current research in the family and parenting domain and synthesize it into short, easy-to-read articles that are together in one document.

We also have programs for families of kindergarten and grades 1-2-3, called Kindergarten Parenting Matters and Parenting Matters.

Who do we serve

Parenting Matters directly serves families of children. In addition, we also serve professionals who are working with families and provide a resource for service providers to share with their families.


With offices in Washington State, we are able to provide parenting information anywhere one resides or works, either through postal, electronic delivery or through our website.


Children do not come with instruction manuals when they are born. Parents want and need help in raising happy, healthy children. And parents are busy and need information that is reliable, brief and helpful. There are a large number of parenting book and websites that have great information and resources, but often they are challenging to access or time consuming to navigate. While we know that much of the child’s brain is developing in the first years of a child’s life it continues to develop. The Child Mental Health Foundation and Agencies Network (FAN) says, “children who do not begin kindergarten socially and emotionally competent are often not successful in the early years of school—and can be plagued by behavioral, emotional, academic, and social development problems that follow them into adulthood.”

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