Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)

About This Program

Target Population: Parents who have young children and have limited formal education and resources

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 5

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 5

Program Overview

HIPPY is a home-based and parent-involved school readiness program that helps parents prepare their children ages three to five years old for success in school and beyond. The parent is provided with a set of carefully developed curriculum, books, and materials designed to strengthen their child's cognitive and early literacy skills, as well as their social, emotional, and physical development.

The HIPPY Curriculum contains 30 weekly activity packets, a set of storybooks, and a set of 20 manipulative shapes for each year. In addition to these basic materials, supplies such as scissors and crayons are provided for each participating family. The program uses trained coordinators and community-based home visitors who go into the home. These coordinators and home visitors role-play the activities with the parents and support each family throughout its participation in the program.

HIPPY believes that parents play a critical role in their children's education. The HIPPY program seeks to support parents who may not feel sufficiently confident to prepare their children for school, and is designed to remove barriers to participation in education.

Program Goals

The primary goal of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program is:

  • Partnering with parents to prepare their children for school success

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).

Essential Components

The essential components of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) model include:

  • The developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • Role play as the method of instruction
  • Staff consisting of coordinators and home visitors
  • parent engagement through home visits and group meetings
  • Parent and child educational interactions encouraged through the use of the HIPPY curriculum
  • Designed to support parents with limited formal education
  • Scripted curriculum that serves as a lesson plan for parents
  • Curriculum based on exposure to skills, rather than mastery

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Limited exposure to reading readiness skills

Parent/Caregiver Services

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Low literacy level, limited English proficiency

Recommended Intensity:

Home visitors engage their assigned parents on a weekly basis. Service delivery is primarily through home visits. A home visit consists of a one-hour, one-on-one interaction between the home visitor and their assigned parents. Parents then engage their children in educational activities for five days per week for 30 weeks. At least six times per year, one or more cohorts of parents meet in a group setting with the coordinator and their assigned home visitor(s). Group meetings feature enrichment activities for parents and their children and last approximately two hours.

Recommended Duration:

A minimum of 30 weeks of interaction with the home visitor; curriculum available for up to three years of home visiting services

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care

Homework

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) includes a homework component:

In the sessions, curriculum is role played between the parent and the home visitor. For homework, the parent role plays the curriculum with his/her own child. There are also extension activities to complete, if desired.

Languages

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

HIPPY International is also in the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland

The contact person is for HIPPY International is:

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Office space, furniture and basic furnishing, and a computer for administrative functions of program
  • Supplies for home visitation part that are not always commonly found in a home setting are provided by the program, such as coffee stirrers, sand paper, screws, etc.
  • Group meetings are held in the program office or community settings, such as a church, school, community center, etc.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

The home visitors live in the community they serve and work with the same group of parents for three years. They receive weekly comprehensive training to well equip them to serve their assigned families effectively. The training also encourages them to seek further education. Many home visitors earn degrees in early childhood education. Educational requirements are established by the implementing agency and are usually a high school diploma or GED. Home visitors must be able to read in and speak the language of the families they serve.

The coordinator, who trains the home visitors and oversees the local program, is required to have the minimum of a Bachelor's degree.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

The program manual is:

HIPPY International. (2018). HIPPY basic program operations. Author.

It is available by contacting the program representative (see bottom of the page).

Training Information

There is not training available for this program.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) as listed below:

A Start-Up Manual is provided to potential programs, which includes implementation guidelines, programmatic considerations and budgetary suggestions. Programs submit a comprehensive application before being approved.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) as listed below:

New program coordinators attend preservice training for one week. In addition, a national conference is held every other year. Formal coaching and technical assistance is provided for new programs to the first 3 years of implementation. During the third year (and every other year after that), an accreditation visit occurs.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) as listed below:

HIPPY's fidelity is measured through an accreditation process that occurs every 3 years. The HIPPY Excellence: Model, Guidance, and Accreditation manual describes the elements of a quality HIPPY program, clarifies the program assessment process and establishes the criteria for accreditation. The HIPPY USA Accreditation Worksheet is included in this manual and services as a fidelity checklist.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are no implementation guides or manuals for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Baker, A. J. L., Piotrkowski, C. S., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1998). The effects of the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) on children’s school performance at the end of the program and one year later. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13(4), 571-588. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-2006(99)80061-1

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: Cohort 1: 69; Cohort 2: 113

Population:

  • Age — Mean=3.1-3.8 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Cohort 1: HIPPY/Control: 38%/28% Latino, 27%/13% White, 19%/22% Other, and 16%/47% African-American; Cohort 2: HIPPY/Control: 32%/20% African-American, 32%/29% Latino; 21%/30% White, and 14%/21% Other
  • Gender — Cohort 1: HIPPY: 49% Female; Control: 59% Female Cohort 2: HIPPY: 36% Female, Control: 46% Female
  • Status — Participants were children enrolled in the sponsoring agencies prekindergarten program.

Location/Institution: New York State

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). Participants were randomly assigned to HIPPY or to a control group. Measures utilized include the Cooperative Preschool Inventory (CPI), the National Evaluation Information System, the Metropolitan Readiness Test (MRT), and the Child Classroom Adaptation Index (CCAI). Results indicate that in Cohort 1 children in the HIPPY group scored higher on the CPI and classroom adaptation at the end of the program and higher on a standardized reading test and on classroom adaptation at the end of 1-year follow-up. However, no differences were found between intervention and control groups in Cohort 2. Limitations include the inability to determine long-term impacts and inability to determine if parents generalize lessons to parenting practices outside of the program.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 1 year.

Barhava-Monteith, G., Harre, N., & Field, J. (1999). A promising start: An evaluation of the HIPPY program in New Zealand. Early Child Development and Care, 159(1), 145-157. https://doi.org/10.1080/0300443991590112

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: Study 1: 781, Study 2: 58, Study 3: 57 from study 2 and an additional 47 comparison children

Population:

  • Age — Study 1: 6 years, Study 2: 5.0-5.5 years, Study 3: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Study 1: Not specified; Study 2: 50% Pacific Islander, 40% Maori, and 10% European descent; Study 3: Not specified
  • Gender — Study 1: Not specified; Study 2: 31 Females and 27 Males; Study 3: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children attending public schools.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) on children’s reading ability, school readiness, and school behavior. Participants either belonged to a HIPPY group or a comparison group. Measures utilized include the Reading Diagnostic Survey, BURT Word Reading test, the Metropolitan Readiness Test (MRT), and the Behavioral Academic Self-Esteem Scale (BASE). Results indicate in study 1, scores were compared for children who attended HIPPY and children in the same schools on the Reading Diagnostic Survey and the BURT Word Reading test. Results indicate that HIPPY children scored higher on all subscales and this difference was significant for concepts about print, the word test, and the BURT mean. Results indicate in Study 2, HIPPY children scored higher on all subscales assessing school readiness, but the differences were not statistically significant. Results also indicate in Study 3, both HIPPY and original comparison group children had higher scores than the additional comparison group. Limitations include lack of randomization, selection bias, lack of measures for children’s mathematical ability, and focus on short-term outcomes.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Study 1 - 1 year, Studies 2 & 3 - 6 months.

Bradley, R. H., & Gilkey, B. (2002). The impact of the Home Instructional Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) on school performance in 3rd and 6th grades. Early Education and Development, 13(3), 301-312. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15566935eed1303_4

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: Intervention: 516, Comparison: 516

Population:

  • Age — Not specified, participants were in third and sixth grades
  • Race/Ethnicity — 65% European American and 32% African American
  • Gender — 55% Male
  • Status — Participants were children attending public schools.

Location/Institution: Arkansas

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) on school performance during third and sixth grades. Children who had received the HIPPY program prior to entering elementary school were matched with current classmates, some of whom had other preschool experience. Measures utilized include the Child Classroom Adaptation Inventory. Results indicate there were no group differences in attendance and HIPPY children had fewer suspensions than the subgroup of comparison children who had other preschool experience. HIPPY children performed better in reading and language arts and had higher math grades than children with no preschool experience. On standardized tests, HIPPY students performed better in reading and language arts than the comparison groups and had higher math scores than students with other preschool experience. Teachers rated HIPPY students higher on academic achievement than those with no preschool experience and higher on overall adjustment than both comparison groups. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, selection bias, inability to determine any sub-group differences, and the use of multiple post-hoc analyses increasing likelihood of chance differences.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 4-7 years.

Nievar, M. A., Jacobson, A., Chen, Q., Johnson, U., & Dier, S. (2011). Impact of HIPPY on home learning environments of Latino families. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(3), 268-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.01.002

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: Cohort 1: 108, Cohort 2: 131

Population:

  • Age — 3-4 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 100% Hispanic
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were families enrolled in the sponsoring agencies pre-Kindergarten program.

Location/Institution: Southwest United States

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a public school-administered Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program which served mostly low-income, Latino Spanish-speaking families. Participants were evaluated against a waitlist control group in cohort 1, while cohort 2 was compared to a sample of students with similar demographics. Measures utilized include the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Parental Involvement and Efficacy, the Center for Epidemiological Survey-Depression (CES-D), a demographic survey, and the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME). Results indicate that a third-grade follow-up of children in the program showed significantly higher math achievement when compared to low-income Latino third graders in the same school district. Intervention participation predicted more cognitive stimulation in the home environment, even when controlling for contextual factors unrelated to the intervention. Furthermore, mothers in the HIPPY program developed more parenting efficacy than those in the comparison group as they carried out the parent-as-teacher role. Limitations include the lack of randomization and the use of de-identified school records which prevented matching records to individual subjects.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 years.

Johnson, U. Y., Martinez-Cantu, V., Jacobson, A. L., & Weir, C. (2012). The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program's relationship with mother and school outcomes. Early Education & Development, 23(5), 713-727. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2011.596002

Type of Study: Cohorts 1 and 2: One-group pretest-posttest; Cohorts 3 and 4: Pretest-posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: Cohort 1: 87, Cohort 2: 92, Cohort 3: 558, Cohort 4: 216

Population:

  • Age — Cohort 1: 3-4 years, Cohort 2: Kindergartners (approximately 4-6 years), Cohort 3: Kindergartners (approximately 4-6 years), Cohort 4: Third graders (approximately 7-9 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Cohort 1: 79% Latina; Cohort 2: Not specified; Cohort 3: 90% Latino, 9% African American, and 1% Caucasian; Cohort 4: 85% Latino, 12% African American, and 3% Caucasian
  • Gender — Cohort 1: 100% Female, Cohort 2: Not specified, Cohort 3: 50% Female, Cohort 4: 55% Female
  • Status — Participants were children and parents in public school settings that utilized the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program.

Location/Institution: Texas

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program to mother’s involvement in education at home and school, students school readiness in kindergarten, and student academic outcomes at 3rd grade. Kindergarten students were enrolled in HIPPY and non-HIPPY classrooms. Prior HIPPY students enrolled in third grade in 2007-2008 were compared to non-HIPPY third graders. Measures utilized include the Parent Involvement Interview and the Kindergarten Teacher Survey (KTS). Results indicate that HIPPY mothers increased educational activities in their home with their children after 1 year of home-based intervention. Additionally, HIPPY kindergartners had higher attendance rates, higher prekindergarten enrollment, and higher promotion to 1st grade compared to other kindergartners in the school district. HIPPY 3rd graders scored significantly higher on a state-mandated math achievement test than their matched peers. Limitations include lack of randomization of participants and the limited use of a comparison group.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Cohorts 1-3: None, Cohort 4: Approximately 3 years.

Brown, A., & Lee, J. (2014). School performance in elementary, middle, and high school: A comparison of children based on HIPPY participation during the preschool years. School Community Journal, 24(2), 83-106. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1048627

Type of Study: Pretest–posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: 1,032

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 67% Hispanic, 28% African American, 5% White, 1% Asian, and 0.2% American Indian
  • Gender — 53% Female and 47% Male
  • Status — Participants were children in 3rd, 5th, 7th or 9th grades.

Location/Institution: A large, urban school district in Texas

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the Home Improvement for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on school performance. The study used existing data on children who participated in the HIPPY program as 3-, 4-, or 5-year-olds and demographically similar children who did not participate in the HIPPY program. Measures utilized include Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), attendance records, school retention, and discipline referrals. Results indicate that in all four grades HIPPY children had significantly higher rates of school attendance, were retained less often, had fewer repeat discipline referrals, scored higher, and had higher pass rates on the Reading and Math TAKS than matching children without HIPPY experience. Results also indicate that children who participated in the HIPPY program as a 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old appear to have benefited long-term from the experience. Limitations include unable to report whether children in the HIPPY group showed competitive school performance compared to the general population of children from middle- or upper-income families, and the inability to investigate how parents function in this trajectory.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Estimated 3-11 years.

Brown, A. L. (2015). The impact of early intervention on the school readiness of children born to teenage mothers. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 13(2), 181-195. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X13479048

Type of Study: Pretest–posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: Parents: 36, Children: 36

Population:

  • Age — Parents: 19-32 years; Children: 65.6-65.7 months
  • Race/Ethnicity — Parents: Not specified; Children: Not specified/Hispanic
  • Gender — Parents: 100% Female; Children: 26 Male and 10 Female
  • Status — Participants were Kindergarten students in 5 urban school districts enrolled in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program.

Location/Institution: Five large, urban school districts in Texas

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of participation in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on the school readiness of children born to teenage mothers versus children born to traditional-age mothers participating in the HIPPY program. Participants in HIPPY born to teenage mothers were matched to children in HIPPY who were born to mothers over age 19. Measures utilized include the Kindergarten Readiness Survey and the School Readiness Survey. Results indicate that there was no statistical difference between the two groups. Limitations include the small sample size and the lack of randomization of participants.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Nievar, A., Brown, A. L., Nathans, L., Chen, Q., & Martinez-Cantu, V. (2018). Home visiting among inner-city families: Links to early academic achievement. Early Education and Development, 29(8), 1115-1128. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2018.1506229

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 254

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 89% Hispanic, 9% African American, 2% Asian, and 1% Caucasian; Families: 75% Hispanic, 18% African American, 4% Asian, 2% Native American, and 1% White
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children who had participated in the Home Improvement for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program and demographically similar children who did not participate in the HIPPY program.

Location/Institution: A large, urban school district in Texas

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the long-term effects of a home visiting program, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). Participants were randomly assigned to HIPPY or a comparison group. Measures utilized include the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), attendance records, school retention, and discipline referrals. Results indicate that participation in home visiting predicted higher academic achievement through the 5th grade. Limitations include sample is dispersed over multiple classrooms without classroom-specific data and generalizability due to ethnicity.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Estimated 3 years.

Payne , T., Joseph, R. A., Yampolskaya, S., & Vatalaro, A. (2020). Florida HIPPY parents successfully prepare their children for kindergarten. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 650–657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.07.007

Type of Study: Pretest–posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: 730

Population:

  • Age — HIPPY: Mean=5.45 years; Comparison: Mean=5.48 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — HIPPY: 42% Hispanic, 39% African American, 12% White, 4% Asian, and 3% Other; Comparison group: 43% Hispanic, 41% African American, 12% White, 2% Asian, and 2% Other
  • Gender — HIPPY: 49% Male; Comparison: 49% Male
  • Status — Participants were children from low-income households.

Location/Institution: Florida

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to determine whether the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngster (HIPPY) intervention increased children’s likelihood of passing the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener and being promoted to the first grade. Participants were randomized to the intervention group (i.e., HIPPY) or the comparison group. Measures utilized include the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener. Results indicate among families at risk due to poverty and limited English language proficiency, the odds of passing the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener were almost two times greater for children whose parents participated in the HIPPY program, and their odds of being promoted to the first grade were five times greater than a matched sample of non-participants. Limitations include parent and family dynamics were not available for inclusion in the model, the possibility that the comparison group included those who had the program offered to them but declined to participate, the absence of information on the additional program interventions in which children participated, and absence of information on dosage.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

The following studies were not included in rating HIPPY on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Van Tuijl, C., Leseman, P. M., & Rispens, J. (2001). Efficacy of an intensive home-based educational intervention programme for 4- to 6-year-old ethnic minority children in the Netherlands. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25(2), 148-159. https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250042000159

Families were recruited for the intervention and matched with a comparison group on age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. At baseline children were assessed on IQ, Dutch language and native language vocabulary. At the conclusion of the program, they were tested on semantic-taxonomic, logo-mathematical, and number concepts, as well as on conservation and seriation skill. A test of numeracy and early mathematical competence was also given. The vocabulary tests in native language and Dutch were repeated. For Turkish children, those who had the program scored significantly higher on ordering concepts and general cognition and on emergent numeracy. There were no group differences for the Moroccan children. Note: Because this study assesses a program based on Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), but using a different curriculum, it was not included in the Scientific Rating.

Additional References

Lombard, A. (1981). Success begins at home. Lexington, MA: Heath.

Westheimer, M. (1997). Ready or not: One home-based response to the school readiness dilemma. Early Child Development and Care, 127(1), 245-257.

Contact Information

Miriam Westheimer
Agency/Affiliation: HIPPY International
Website: hippy-international.org
Email:
Phone: (718) 549-1993

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2008