- A report released Wednesday identifies early-childhood home-visiting programs — funded by the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program — that are most likely to contribute to children’s readiness for and achievement in school. A project of the Association of State and Tribal Home Visiting Initiatives, the collection of peer-reviewed studies is meant to guide policymakers and program leaders as interest in the benefits of home visiting continues to expand nationally.
- A study of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), for example, showed that children in a Texas district who participated in weekly home visits had fewer absences in school, were less likely to repeat a grade, had fewer discipline referrals, and scored higher on state reading and math tests than students who were not part of HIPPY.
- A separate study on the Child FIRST model, which was used in Bridgeport, Connecticut, showed that children in the treatment group had stronger language skills at age 3 and fewer social and emotional behavior problems that those who didn’t participate. But most program models highlighted in the report also resulted in other positive effects, such as reductions in child maltreatment rates or improvements in parents’ economic self-sufficiency.
The research review comes as another recent report shows that home-visiting programs reached roughly 300,000 families during 2017, but that millions more could benefit from such intervention models. Published by the National Home Visiting Resource Center, the 2018 Home Visiting Yearbook provides state-by-state data and highlights the variety of funding resources combined together to support home-visiting programs.
Interest in home visiting is also increasing at the K-12 level as a way to form stronger relationships between educators and families. Parent Teacher Home Visits, a successful model that began in Sacramento, California, has now spread to 23 states and the District of Columbia. School leaders can also become more knowledgeable about such efforts targeting young children in their communities. Some school districts, for example, fund Parents as Teachers programs to support families with young children in their communities. High schools serving pregnant and parenting teens can also work with home-visiting programs to allow the visits to be conducted during school hours.