Implementing Early Steps to School Success™—Home Visiting

Implementation last updated: 2019

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(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the research 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. Similarly, models described here may not all have impact studies, and those with impact studies may vary in their effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about research on the effectiveness of the models discussed here.

Training to support implementation

Requirements for program certification

Save the Children does not require a formal certification to implement Early Steps-Home Visiting. Save the Children assesses (1) the district’s need for the model, which is based on the proportion of students eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch, usually 70 percent or higher, and (2) the district’s capacity to implement Early Steps-Home Visiting. If the district meets the assessment criteria, the local school district and Save the Children develop a partnership agreement that they review annually. No information is available on the criteria used to determine whether a school has the capacity to implement the model.

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Pre-service staff training

The national Early Steps program team and regional program specialists conduct a three-day orientation that home visitors must attend. The orientation covers the model, infant and toddler development, recruitment and enrollment of families, the data collection system, and Save the Children protocols and policies. The national Early Steps program team tailors the training to each community and the needs of the implementing school district.

Regional program specialists participate in an onboarding process that the senior early childhood specialists oversee. The process includes training on the model, reflective supervision, infant and toddler development and parenting, and poverty and rural issues. The training also emphasizes best practices for home visiting. No information is available on the length of the onboarding process.

Certification is not required for the home visitors or regional program specialists. Home visitors are encouraged to obtain a mental health certification.

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In-service staff training

Home visitors receive an average of 70 hours of training annually, which includes the four to six hours per month of on-site reflective supervision, mentoring, and coaching from the regional program specialist, plus regional trainings with their peers three to four times per year led by the regional program specialists. In addition, monthly web-based trainings are available. The national Early Steps program team develops the trainings annually based on the needs identified by the regional program specialists, the monthly data results, the annual home visitor competency assessments, and the biannual program quality assessment (described under Fidelity Measurement).

All of the regional program specialists across the nation meet for planning and continuous improvement activities two to three days per year.

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Training materials

Early Steps-Home Visiting has a variety of training materials, including guides for the Plan and Play, early math, and social-emotional curricula (see Curriculum section); guides for parent–child groups; a guide for working with dual-language families; and recorded online training sessions.

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Qualified trainers

The Early Steps national director, senior early childhood specialists, and regional program specialists design and conduct most of the home visitor trainings. The senior early childhood specialists train the regional program specialists.

Save the Children contracts with ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families to provide several trainings each year. In addition, Save the Children hires consultants to provide trainings, as needed.

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Technical assistance

The regional program specialists and other Early Steps national and state-based program staff provide mentoring, coaching, and technical assistance to the local school districts, as needed. The data manager provides ongoing technical assistance on the data collection system. The national Early Steps program team meets with each implementing school district annually to access technical assistance needs.

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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in August 2019. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by Judith Jerald, Senior Early Childhood Advisor, Save the Children, on May 1, 2019. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.


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