Skip Navigation

Early Start (New Zealand)

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

Last Updated: July 2014

Effects Shown in Research & Outcome Measure Details for Child Development and School Readiness Outcomes

Impact Studies Rated Moderate


Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Grant, H., & Ridder, E. M. (2005). Early start evaluation report. Christchurch, NZ: Early Start Project Ltd.
Additional Sources:

Fergusson, D. M., Grant, H., Horwood, L. J., & Ridder, E. M. (2005). Randomized trial of the Early Start program of home visitation. Pediatrics, 116(6), e803-e809.

Fergusson, D. M., Grant, H., Horwood, L. J., & Ridder, E. M. (2006). Randomized trial of the Early Start program of home visitation: Parent and family outcomes. Pediatrics, 117(3), 781-786. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-1517

Results for full sample
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Duration of attendance (months) Favorable Christchurch sample 36 months 388 children Unadjusted mean = 16.4 Unadjusted mean = 13.6 MD = 2.8 Statistically significant, p < 0.05 Study-reported = 0.22 Secondary
Percent ever attended early childhood education No Effect Christchurch sample 36 months 388 children 90.8% 84.5% 6.3 Not statistically significant, p > 0.05 Study-reported = 0.19 Secondary
Performance IQ No Effect Christchurch sample 36 months 367 children Unadjusted mean = 98.10 Unadjusted mean = 96.80 MD = 1.30 Not statistically significant, p > 0.05 Study-reported = 0.08 Primary
Total behavior score Favorable Christchurch sample 36 months 391 children Unadjusted mean = 9.87 Unadjusted mean = 10.11 MD = -0.241 Statistically significant, p < 0.05 Study-reported = 0.24 Primary
Total externalizing score No Effect Christchurch sample 36 months 391 children Unadjusted mean = 9.90 Unadjusted mean = 10.09 MD = -0.191 Not statistically significant, p > 0.05 Study-reported = 0.19 Primary
Total internalizing score Favorable Christchurch sample 36 months 391 children Unadjusted mean = 9.86 Unadjusted mean = 10.12 MD = -0.261 Statistically significant, p < 0.05 Study-reported = 0.26 Primary
Total IQ No Effect Christchurch sample 36 months 367 children Unadjusted mean = 97.70 Unadjusted mean = 96.50 MD = 1.20 Not statistically significant, p > 0.05 Study-reported = 0.07 Primary
Verbal IQ No Effect Christchurch sample 36 months 367 children Unadjusted mean = 97.70 Unadjusted mean = 97.00 MD = 0.70 Not statistically significant, p > 0.05 Study-reported = 0.04 Primary

1 High score equals unfavorable.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Duration of attendance (months) Duration of attendance in early childhood education (in months) Parent/caregiver report Not applicable Secondary
Percent ever attended early childhood education Percentage of children who ever attended early childhood education Parent/caregiver report Not applicable Secondary
Performance IQ The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) was used to assess intelligence at age three. The authors obtained a verbal IQ score, a performance IQ score , and full score IQ Child assessment Cronbach's α = 0.86 for the performance subscale, 0.93 for the verbal subscale, and .0.94 for the total scale. Primary
Total behavior score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach's α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Total externalizing score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach's α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Total internalizing score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach's α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Total IQ The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) was used to assess intelligence at age three. The authors obtained a verbal IQ score, a performance IQ score , and full score IQ . Child assessment Cronbach's α = 0.86 for the performance subscale, 0.93 for the verbal subscale, and .0.94 for the total scale. Primary
Verbal IQ The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) was used to assess intelligence at age three. The authors obtained a verbal IQ score, a performance IQ score , and full score IQ. Child assessment Cronbach's α = 0.86 for the performance subscale, 0.93 for the verbal subscale, and .0.94 for the total scale. Primary
Results for Māori subgroup
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Duration of attendance (months) No Effect Tribal/Māori sample 36 months 151 families Unadjusted mean = 15.8 Unadjusted mean = 12.2 MD = 3.6 Not statistically significant,
p > 0.05
HomVEE = .28 Secondary
Total behavior score Favorable Tribal/Māori sample 36 months 151 families Unadjusted mean = 9.93 Unadjusted mean = 10.36 MD = -.431 Statistically significant,
p = 0.01
HomVEE = -.4 Primary
Total externalizing score No Effect Tribal/Māori sample 36 months 151 families Unadjusted mean = 9.98 Unadjusted mean = 10.28 MD = -.31 Not statistically significant,
p > 0.05
HomVEE = -.28 Primary
Total internalizing score Favorable Tribal/Māori sample 36 months 151 families Unadjusted mean = 9.84 Unadjusted mean = 10.41 MD = -.571 Statistically significant,
p = 0.00
HomVEE = -.57 Primary

1 Negative value is favorable to the intervention.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Duration of attendance (months) Duration of attendance in early childhood education (in months) Parent/caregiver report Not applicable Secondary
Total behavior score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach’s α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Total externalizing score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach’s α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Total internalizing score Child social-emotional /behavioral problems were assessed using50 items from the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). The following dimensions of behavior combine to form the Externalizing score: activity, aggression/defiance, peer aggression, and emotional negativity. The dimensions of inhibition/separation problems and depression/withdrawal comprise the Internalizing score. Items are rated on a 3-point scale from not true (1), rarely to very true (2), and often (3). Parent/caregiver report Cronbach’s α ranged from 0.47 to 0.85, with a median of 0.75. Primary
Top