Implementing Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)® Meets HHS Criteria

Model implementation summary last updated: 2020

The information in this implementation report 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 manuscripts 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. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about any research on the effectiveness of the model, including any version(s) of the model with effectiveness research. Versions of the model that are described in the Adaptations and enhancements section of this implementation report may include (1) versions that were identified by the model’s developer and (2) versions that have been implemented by researchers and have manuscripts that HomVEE rated high or moderate, but that are not supported by the model’s developer.

Model overview

Theoretical approach

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home visiting model that focuses on parent-involved and parent-directed early learning. HIPPY services are offered to parents, who then work with their own 2- through 5-year-old children. HIPPY’s mission is to help parents prepare their children for success in school and beyond. The model supports parents as their children’s first teacher by providing them the tools, skills, and confidence to teach their young children in the home.

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Implementation support

The national office of HIPPY (HIPPY USA) helps state and local communities implement and sustain HIPPY affiliate sites in the United States. The national office provides training and technical assistance, develops all HIPPY materials, enhances the HIPPY model, oversees and ensures model fidelity, collects national data, advocates for policy and practice, and coordinates research.

Five state partners (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, and Texas) provide assistance and support to new and existing HIPPY programs in their states. The national office supports the independent local implementing agencies.

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Intended population

HIPPY is designed for parents and caregivers* who want to gain confidence in their ability to teach their children and fully prepare them for success. Parents may have only limited formal education, limited English proficiency, limited financial resources, or other risk factors that can hinder their ability to provide quality preschool education to their child.

HIPPY serves parents with children ages 2 through 5 years.

*Throughout the rest of this profile, the term “parent” refers to both parents and caregivers.

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Targeted outcomes

HIPPY seeks to (1) improve parent-child relationships, (2) promote positive parent-child interaction, (3) help vulnerable children achieve long-term academic success, (4) increase parents’ involvement in their child’s educational experience, and (5) create pathways for parents to access economic and educational opportunities in their communities.
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Model services

The HIPPY model includes five required components:

  1. A developmentally appropriate school readiness curriculum. HIPPY includes four separate curricula: Little Learners (Age 2) and HIPPY Age 3, Age 4, and Age 5. Each curriculum is structured as lesson plans that use storybooks, learning exercises, and activities to expand children’s literacy and language development, social and emotional development, and problem-solving skills.
  2. One-on-one weekly home visits. The home visitor works to build lasting relationships with the family by offering individual training in the family’s home. Home visits and group meetings strive to address the educational, social, and personal needs of enrolled families.
  3. HIPPY group meetings. Meetings are designed to provide social experiences for children and adults, expose participants to new concepts, and allow parents to find solutions to common challenges through information and resource sharing. Group meetings also foster active engagement in the program, especially when extended family members participate. 
  4. Role play as the method of instruction in the curriculum. Role play allows parents to discuss the purpose of individual activities, reflect on their and their child’s learning needs, and develop new teaching skills. The use of role play is designed to create a non-threatening learning environment in which mistakes are accepted, and to support parents with any level of education in their efforts to become more effective as their children’s first teacher.
  5. Peer home visitors and professional coordinators. Staffing structure includes peer home visitors from the community in which the family is being served and professional coordinators with sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable families.

The first home visit serves recruitment and retention purposes. HIPPY USA recommends that the coordinator conduct the first home visit with a family to provide a comprehensive overview of the program, describe the commitment the program is making to the family, and explain the commitment required of the family. During the initial visit, the coordinator considers which of the program’s home visitors would be the best fit for the family.

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Model intensity and length

HIPPY affiliate sites deliver the curriculum over 30 weeks each year, usually during the months that correspond with a typical school year. During this period, families are offered weekly home visits and at least six group meetings. Home visits typically last one hour and group meetings last two hours.

The four HIPPY curricula are separate and independent of each other; however, each builds upon the skills from the preceding curriculum. HIPPY USA highly recommends that parents complete each age curriculum sequentially, and thus, that affiliate sites offer the full four-year program option, serving 2- through 5-year-olds. At a minimum, affiliate sites must implement at least two consecutive years of HIPPY curricula.

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HIPPY USA affiliate sites are located in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These USA affiliate sites are part of an international network of HIPPY sites in 14 countries worldwide.
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Adaptations and enhancements

HIPPY USA permits some flexibility with the model in cases where adaptations are deemed necessary due to local conditions; however, it requires that all affiliate sites adhere to core elements that are essential to effective programming. HIPPY USA must review and approve all adaptations. Technical assistance is provided to guide local affiliate sites in determining which adaptation should be implemented and the method of implementation, and to promote efficacy and model integrity.

Examples of adaptations include:

  • Approaches that honor family and community values;
  • Approaches that foster safety and delivery in alternative living environments;
  • Approaches that consider the pace of parenting education;
  • Approaches that modify the extent to which verbal and nonverbal communication strategies are used; and
  • Approaches that modify the extent or method of service delivery in emergency situations.
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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2020. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the HIPPY USA national office in April 2020. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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