When most of us think about early childhood education, we think of daycare or preschool – locations where children go to learn, engage and play. Yet, what happens in the home is also hugely important in the development of young children. That is where home visitation comes in.
“Home visiting programs allow us to provide families with support and information in the home,” explains Heather Tritten, executive director of Parent Possible, a Rose Community Foundation home visitation grantee. “Our programs promote child development and school readiness because not every child is served through a licensed childcare setting. This is another way we’re serving children and families.”
One of Parent Possible’s programs is Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), which serves low-income parents of children aged three through kindergarten. During a typical home visit, a home visitor uses roleplay to show the parent and child how to work on the week’s topic and packet of activities–topics like literacy, science and motor skills. This gives the parent tools and confidence to continue practicing with the child until the next home visit.
Rose Community Foundation Role
The Foundation has been helping grantees unite in “clusters” of similar disciplines, “to work together to become stronger as a field of work,” explains Elsa Holguín, Rose Community Foundation senior program officer for Child and Family Development. In 2016, Holguín brought Parent Possible and other home visitation grantees together. “These grantees face similar challenges and can benefit by working together,” she says. “Specifically, they, and the entire field of home visitation face a lack of public awareness and understanding. This can prevent them from securing funding, having a voice in public policy and reaching more families in need.”
After coming together, the cluster of grantees is now collaborating to address challenges like these, sharing resources and referring one another’s services. “We are trying to best serve families. These collaborations and relationships help us all to make sure families are getting what they need,” says Tritten.