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Implementing Parent-Child Home Program

Model Overview

Last Updated

July 2015


The information in this profile reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model here, including any adaptations, may differ from how it was implemented in the studies reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness.


Implementation Support

The Parent-Child Home Program’s National Center provides comprehensive implementation assistance and training for Parent-Child Home Program site supervisors, coordinators, and evaluators, and conducts regular certification or re-certification of all local Parent-Child Home Program replication sites. The National Center also provides assistance with fund development, outreach, and government relations. The National Center conducts all site certifications and re-certifications according to the criteria and schedule laid out in each site’s replication agreement to determine whether the site is operating within the Parent-Child Home Program’s guidelines and is providing quality services to families. The National Center also provides ongoing program support and technical assistance to all sites and staff.

The Parent-Child Home Program has regional coordinators in New York, Massachusetts, and Washington; and certified regional trainers in South Carolina and Florida.


Theoretical Model

Building on the socio-cultural theory of Vygotsky, Bruner’s theory of language symbolism, research on the importance of play for the targeted age group, and attachment theory, the Parent-Child Home Program focuses on increasing positive parent-child verbal and non-verbal interaction and building positive parenting skills. Increasing these interactions and skills is designed to promote children’s conceptual and social-emotional development, including the development of critical early literacy skills, such as receptive and expressive language. The Parent-Child Home Program’s approach is non-didactic and utilizes a non-threatening behavioral modeling methodology that is process-driven and focuses on empowering parents and reinforcing learning through intensive services.


Target Population

The Parent-Child Home Program is designed for families with multiple risk factors that inhibit parents’ ability to prepare their children for school or be involved in their children’s education, including poverty, low levels of education, isolation, teen parent and single-parent households, immigrant or refugee status, and literacy and/or language barriers.

The Parent-Child Home Program is designed to serve families for two program cycles, typically over a two-year period when their children are 2 and 3 years old.


Targeted Outcomes

The Parent-Child Home Program aims to enhance the quality of parent-child verbal and non-verbal interaction (including enhanced vocabulary, a reduction in discouragements, and an increase in encouragements used by parents) and the quantity of parent-child interaction to promote children’s cognitive and social-emotional development and language and early literacy skills. The program also aims to connect families to other educational and social service resources in the community as needed. Referrals can be made to early intervention services, adult education services, domestic violence programs, and mental health services, among other programs. All program sites help families register their graduating children for preschool and/or child care.


Model Components

The Parent-Child Home Program includes (1) twice-weekly home visits that must always include the primary caregiver (the primary caregiver is most often a parent but may also be a grandparent or other relative or foster parent) and may also include additional adult caregivers and siblings; (2) once a week distribution of books and educational toys to create libraries in the families’ homes; (3) referrals/connections to other social and educational services for the program child and other family members; and (4) assistance with transition to the next educational step for the program child.

During home visits, visitors facilitate and model playful verbal interactions between parents and children using the affective and cognitive curricula. Home visitors are encouraged to model verbal interactions such as providing information (for example, “This is a circle” and “That’s the yellow school bus”); eliciting information (for example, “Where is the yellow school bus going?”); and verbalizing social interaction (for example, inviting participation, taking turns, or following the parent’s and child’s lead).


Model Intensity and Length

The Parent-Child Home Program’s curriculum requires that participating families receive twice-weekly home visits for 30 minutes each.

Families participate in two program cycles over a two-year period when their child is 2 and 3 years old. The minimum length of each program cycle is 23 weeks or 46 home visits. Over the course of two program cycles, families are offered a minimum of 92 home visits.



The Parent-Child Home Program currently operates in 12 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin).


Adaptations and Enhancements

Program sites may be allowed to make modifications to the Parent-Child Home Program for particular populations, such as homeless families, only if the modifications are approved in advance by the National Center. Enhancements may include voluntary play groups, parent groups, or field trips for the families who are participating in the home visits.



The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2015. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by The Parent-Child Home Program National Center on April 23, 2015. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.