You are Your Child's First and Most Important 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.”

Resource for Early Learning Programs in Clallam County

We worked together with Prevention Works! to create a directory for families to have access to comparative details about the various early learning programs throughout our county. View the most current directory here.


New book published: Sustainable Parenting...

Spring 2014

Parenting: Unlocking Our Human Potential - Healing Our Plundered Planet, a new book written by Donovan C Wilkin, Ph. D and Cynthia D. Martin Ph. D. (First Teacher President) looks at the role parents play in raising their children to becoming valued members of society.

The book is available through Amazon and includes the following forward: What if civilization disappeared virtually overnight, including 90% of the world's population? What if the survivors had to start over on a desperately depleted planet? A growing number of prominent experts is warning of the potential collapse of human civilization before the middle of this century. What sort of human culture might re-emerge? Wilkin and Martin believe a more sustainable culture with a higher and more equitable quality of life is not only possible, but with a better understanding of evolution, probable. The key is in teaching children to be more caring, sharing, and tolerant of differences, as well as instilling deep reverence and respect for the natural world. This highly readable collection of parenting tips based in an ecological perspective on the latest childhood development research is intended to educate today's parents, the first and most important teachers of tomorrow's pioneers, in the skills they will need to establish a more livable and lasting human culture.

Filled with tips the book also examines how we we are failing at sustaining the earth's resources. Sustainable Parenting: Unlocking Our Human Potential - Healing Our Plundered Planet provides help for parents on how to be observant, manage conflicts, have empathy, be consistent with discipline and communicate effectively.

A thorough review can be found here.