Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a two-year home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program that empowers parents and carers to be their child's first teacher. HIPPY builds the confidence and skills of parents and carers to create a positive learning environment to prepare their child for school. HIPPY also offers some parents and carers a supported pathway to employment and local community leadership.

More than $100 million has been committed to HIPPY to support ongoing program delivery in 50 mainstream locations and expand the program to an additional 50 locations, with an emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Twenty-five new locations will start program delivery in 2014 with the remaining 25 new locations expected to start in 2015.

From 2015, HIPPY will be operating in 100 locations across Australia, targeting around 2350 children (aged four years old) each year.

For more information on the new HIPPY communities, please visit the HIPPY Australia website.

How does the program work?

Parents and their children enrol in the program in the year before the child commences formal school and participate in the program for 2 years. HIPPY activities are designed to be integrated into the daily life of the family. The first year of the program provides children with activities which support pre literacy and pre numeracy skills. The second year extends these activities and provides parents with additional information about children's learning and development.

Each HIPPY location is staffed by a tertiary qualified coordinator and a team of home tutors. The home tutors are usually past or current parents participating in the program who live in the local community. Home tutors are paid employees and receive training and support from the coordinator.

Home tutors schedule regular visits with parents to work through the program activities in the family's home. Parents are also encouraged to participate in regular parent group meetings. Role-play is the usual method used by home tutors to facilitate the understanding of the parents about how to do the activities.

Who runs the program?

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), through HIPPY Australia, has exclusive licensing rights from HIPPY International to run the program in Australia. They are responsible for managing the implementation of the national roll-out and have sub-licence arrangements with other not-for-profit organisations to deliver the program to selected communities.

For more information on the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters, including locations, please visit the HIPPY Australia website.

Evaluation of the national rollout of HIPPY

In November 2011 an evaluation of the national rollout of HIPPY, undertaken by the Monash University, was released.

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