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Early Head Start-Home Visiting (EHS-HV)

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

In Brief

Last Updated

July 2016

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Evidence of Program Model Effectiveness

This program model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population, but does not meet the criteria for tribal populations.

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Program Model Description

Early Head Start (EHS) targets low-income pregnant women and families with children from birth through age 3, most of whom are at or below the federal poverty level or who are eligible for Part C services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in their state. The program provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services. EHS programs include home- or center-based services, a combination of home- and center-based programs, and family child care services (services provided in family child care homes). The focus of this report is on the home-based service option. EHS home-based services include weekly 90-minute home visits and two group socialization activities per month for parents and their children. Home visitors are required to have knowledge and experience in child development and early childhood education; principles of child health, safety, and nutrition; adult learning principles; and family dynamics. This report also includes a review of an infant mental health home-based services adaptation of EHS home-based services, IMH-HB EHS, which aims to help parents build stronger relationships with their infants and toddlers, foster healthy family functioning, and support the emotional health of both parent and child. For more information, please read the Program Model Overview.

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Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies for EHS-HVNumber of Studies for IMH-HB EHS
Released from 1979 to 2015 1641
Eligible for review 241
     Rated high 50
     Rated moderate 11
     Rated low 60
     Additional sourcesa 120

aAdditional sources overlap with another study and are not rated.

For more information, see the study database. For more information on the criteria used to determine the study ratings, please read Producing Study Ratings.

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Summary of Findings



Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness

Favorable: 2
No effect: 37
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 3
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 14
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 16
No effect: 74
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 2

Linkages and Referrals

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 8
No effect: 8
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 7
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 3
No effect: 23
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 5
No effect: 30
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 1
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured

IMH-HB EHS
Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness Not measured Not measured
Child Health Not measured Not measured
Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Not measured Not measured
Linkages and Referrals Not measured Not measured
Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 2
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 5
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

Positive Parenting Practices Not measured Not measured
Reductions in Child Maltreatment Not measured Not measured
Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured

Please read Describing Effects for more information on these categories. Only results from studies that meet the standards for the high or moderate ratings are included above.

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Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

 EHS-HVIMH-HB EHS
Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study? YesYes
Across high- or moderate-quality studies, favorable impacts in…
 
   at least two outcome domains within one sample
 
   OR
 
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
YesNo
Favorable impacts on full sample? YesYes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after program enrollment?a YesYes
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?a YesYes

aThis information is reported for all program models, but the requirements for sustained findings and inclusion in a peer-reviewed journal only apply to models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials.

Please read the DHHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Program Models for more information.

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