Play and Learning Strategies (PALS)

Entries in this row combine information across all versions of PALS except for PALS Infant. Some other versions of PALS have at least one high- or moderate-quality impact study, but no version of the model other than PALS Infant meets HHS criteria for an evidence-based home visiting model.

Last updated: October 2019

In Brief

Evidence of Model Effectiveness

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

PALS Toddler/Preschooler and the combination of PALS Infant + Toddler/Preschooler do not meet the HHS criteria for the general population or for tribal populations.

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Model Description

Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) is designed to strengthen parent–child bonding and stimulate children’s early language, cognitive, and social development. There are two versions of the model: PALS Infant curriculum for families with children 5 to 18 months, which consists of 10 weekly sessions; and PALS Toddler/Preschooler curriculum for children 18 months through 4 years, which consists of 12 weekly sessions. Both versions are offered through 90-minute home visits conducted by a parent educator. This report also includes a review of PALS Infant + Toddler/Preschooler which refers to the combined Infant + Toddler/Preschooler curricula. Parent educators are required to receive training and certification from the model developer, the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center. The Children’s Learning Institute recommends that PALS be implemented by agencies with sustained funding mechanisms and organizational structures that can support model continuity, such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and not-for-profit early childhood agencies. For more information, please read the Model Overview.

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Extent of Evidence

PALS Toddler/Preschooler
Results of Research and Review
Number of studies
Eligible for review
4
Rated high
2
Rated moderate
0
Rated low
1
Additional source1
1
PALS Infant + Toddler/Preschooler
Results of Research and Review
Number of studies
Eligible for review
3
Rated high
2
Rated moderate
0
Rated low
0
Additional source1
1
Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) Infant
Results of Research and Review
Number of studies
Eligible for review
7
Rated high
3
Rated moderate
0
Rated low
1
Additional source1
3

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

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

Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
PALS Toddler/Preschooler
High- or moderate-quality impact study?
Yes
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?
Yes
Favorable impacts on full sample?
Yes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after model enrollment?1
No
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?1
Yes
PALS Infant + Toddler/Preschooler
High- or moderate-quality impact study?
Yes
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?
No
Favorable impacts on full sample?
Yes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after model enrollment?1
No
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?1
Yes
Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) Infant
High- or moderate-quality impact study?
Yes
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?
Yes
Favorable impacts on full sample?
Yes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after model enrollment?1
Yes
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?1
Yes

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

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