Early Start (New Zealand) Model Description

Early Start is a voluntary home visiting program designed to improve child health, reduce child abuse, improve parenting skills, support parental physical and mental health, encourage family economic well-being, and encourage stable, positive partner relationships. Early Start was designed to be a mainstream program, targeting at-risk families with newborns and children up to age 5. However, the developers took steps to ensure that the model would also be culturally responsive to the Māori, an indigenous population of New Zealand. Home visitors deliver services at varying levels of intensity depending on the family’s needs. Families with the highest needs receive up to three hours of home visits and indirect contact per week (level 1), families with moderate needs receive up to three hours of home visiting every two weeks (level 2), and families with lower needs receive up to one hour of home visiting monthly (level 3). The fourth and final level of services includes up to one hour of contact every three months. Home visitors in consultation with their supervisors determine when a family is ready to progress to the next level. For more information, please read the Model Overview.