Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Erin Swilling- Parents as Teachers Parent Educator- Cheyenne

Erin Swilling- Parents as Teachers Parent Educator- Cheyenne

My job as a Parents as Teachers Parent Educator for the Parent Education Network allows me to make a personal connection with parents and kids alike.  I get the opportunity to help build on the foundation that parents are creating for their kids in helping them make informed decisions about their children and giving, in part, the support, resources, and child development information so parents are able to trust their knowledge and judgment about what is best for their child. On top of that I get to play with kids!


There is nothing quite like looking at the world through the eyes of a child.  To be a part of their first steps, their first words, the first experiences are an amazing and rewarding adventure.  Our future relies on today’s youth and getting to be a part of that, particularly in the first 5 years of development, is crucial!  By 6 months old a baby’s brain is already 50% of its adult size.  By 3 years old a child’s brain is 80% of its adult size!  That’s a lot of growing and learning and developing and I get to watch and support that growth, and more importantly I get to help parents be a part of that too.

Just yesterday I called one of my families, her son had his kindergarten screening yesterday and I wanted to see how he had done.  He’d been really nervous to go to his screening and had pretty much decided he just wasn’t going to go to kindergarten. Mom had called me prior to each of our last three visits to give me a heads up and ask if we could do something special to get Spencer excited about kindergarten and to prepare him for the screening and just in general talk with him about what to expect.  Well, mom reported yesterday when he arrived (for the screening) it was like a brand new kid! He was excited, cooperative, and enthusiastic and he did great on the screening!  Mom got teary eyed and thanked me and said “we wouldn’t be here today without your help”.

That story right there is the ultimate definition of why my job excites me.

It’s the best job in the world and I am so lucky to get to be a Parent Educator.



Comments on: "Being a Parent Educator is the BEST!" (9)

  1. madison shank said:

    Hi, im 17 and interested in being a parent educator, it has always been a hope of mine to help kids and families become closer and help children grow up right, but i dont know if i could do this job with such little pay, is it worth the sacrifice of living comfortably? how do you cope with the low pay? what kind of college did you go to and how does it affect pay, and how easy is it to find a job, i would love to hear what you have to say, i need your help in deciding my future

  2. LiEnisa said:

    Thank you Erin for sharing your story. It is so great to have a seasoned pro like you out there still making a difference in the lives of families everyday. It makes me happy to have chosen this career path as I know that even after years in the field I will still be making an impact! Thanks for leading the way!

  3. Michele said:

    I think you are absolutely right on everything. I also believe the reason we do our jobs as PIC, PAT and PEN is because of the parents and their appretiation for what we do for them and their children. Excellent job Erin!

  4. First, I want to thank you guys for all of your kind words. It truly means alot.

    Second, I loved getting a chance to visit with you all during the conference. It was great to share stories, get some fresh ideas, and build on relationships.

    Third, it’s great to be on this journey with a great group of ladies who love this job, and the families, as much as I do.

    Thanks to you all for doing what you do.

  5. Tammy said:

    Way to go Erin, assisting Spencer and his family. You need to give yourself a pat on the back for being able to prepare a child for lifes adventures, challenges and changes. Tammy

  6. Blanca Moye said:

    I feel the same as you do.
    This job makes me be somebody who can help families and be somebody who people, organizations and community can trust.
    I also feel like I can be a bridge between families and the rest because I can break the language barrier for them. I follow up doctors appoinments, school involvment , screeinings and that’s why I feel like a little part of each family.
    Being involved in Parents as Teachers as a Parent Educator for the Parent Education Network is the best oportunity I have ever imagined be part of

  7. Samantha said:

    I love being a parent educator, too! Parents need support at all ages and children need a strong start. This is truly a rewarding job.

  8. Hi Erin,
    You do a wonderful job explaining the importance of parent educators and value of networking for parents. The Parents as Teachers Program does great work. Keep it up.

    It was good to see you at the Partnership Summit.
    Lisa H.

  9. Erin is far and away, THE GOLD STANDARD, that Parent Educators should be measured by. I have had the privilege of working in the same office as Erin, meeting her families and some of her kiddo’s. Erin is animated and has a contagious, vivacious personality that wicks over to the people she is working with and MAKES them want to work harder, achieve more, set the bar higher and the same applies to the kids she works with. I don’t know how she does it, but to know Erin leaves a mark, forever, on your heart, and makes the world just that much brighter. She was actually BUILT for this job. Many people cannot say, my work makes me happy and I am happy at work. I feel Erin can say precisely that. Her families really appreciate her, their kids love and adore her, and the kids are learning with every visit. She is a rare commodity, and heaven forbid, IF there is a developmental delay, a social delay, a (younameit) delay, Erin is ON it, and early intervention is on the menu for the day. Thank goodness it’s you Erin, because little bitty kids are NOT my bag, but clearly, had it NOT been for people just like you, my son would not be where he is today.
    Parents like me, thank people like you!

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