Play and Learning Strategies (PALS)
Entries in this row combine information across all versions of PALS. Only PALS Infant meets HHS criteria for an evidence-based home visiting model. Some other versions of PALS have at least one manuscript about a 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: 2019
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 because there are no high- or moderate-rated effectiveness studies of the model as implemented with a tribal population.
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 because the findings from high- or moderate-rated effectiveness studies of those versions of PALS do not meet all required criteria.
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.
Extent of evidence
Criteria established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Notes: If the model does not meet criterion 3 but meets criteria 1 and 2 based on findings from subgroups, the impacts must be replicated in the same domain in two or more studies using non-overlapping analytic study samples. HomVEE assesses and reports criteria 4 and 5 for all models that have well-designed research, but meeting those two criteria is only required of models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials. Please read the HHS criteria for evidence-based models for more information.