Recent Studies


An evaluation by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in the wake of the government’s $32.5 million national rollout of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY).

Authors: The evaluation was conducted by Associate Professor Max Liddell of the Department of Social Work, Monash University, as Chief Investigator, with practical assistance provided by the Early Years research team in the Research and Policy Centre at the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL): Tony Barnett, Fatoumata Diallo Roost and Juliet McEachran

Findings: The report indicated that HIPPY is having a transformative impact on the lives of children and parents – helping bridge the gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds with their peers, before they even start school.  At the beginning of the program HIPPY children’s cognitive development – numeracy and literacy skills – were on average up to 30 percent below the Australian norm. But after two years of HIPPY, children’s cognitive development was the same as the Australian norm. Furthermore, parents were reaping many rewards from the program, including:

• feeling more confident in their role of raising their child

• being more able to access services for their children

• rating their sense of ‘neighbourhood belonging’ more highly

• being more involved in their child’s learning and development 

• gaining skills and experience that would improve their own future employment opportunities.



Early Childhood Research Quarterly (October-December 2011)

Volume 26, Issue 3, Pages 268–27

Authors: M. Angela Nievar, Arminta Jacobson, Qi Chen, Ursula Johnson, Shannon Dier. University of North Texas, Department of Educational Psychology

Findings: This study investigated effects of Home Instruction of Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), a paraprofessional home visiting program, on parents and children. The program site served low-income, Spanish-speaking families. On average, mothers were 31 years old and children were 3 or 4 years old. 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. These findings appear to validate the HIPPY model, which suggests that parents gain confidence as their children’s teachers through their experiences in the program. HIPPY successfully addresses the need for culturally sensitive programming aimed at improving educational achievement among minority children.



Family Matters, 91, 27-37 (2012)

Authors: Barnett, T., Diallo Roost, F., & McEachran, J.

Findings: A quasi-experimental study was used to assess the national evaluation of HIPPY for Australia.  While the large study focused on outcomes for parents, children, and tutors, this article focuses solely on effectiveness evaluation and the effects of HIPPY on parents and children at the beginning and end of the two-year program.  The baseline sample included 197 parent-child dyads and a propensity score matching design was used to compare the HIPPY group with the non-HIPPY comparison group (gathered from data collected by the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children). Measures of fidelity were assessed in the three levels that were reported on: child school readiness, parent-child relationship and home learning environment, and parent wellbeing and social inclusion. Researchers used the Academic Rating Scales (ARS), “Who Am I” an Australian validated school readiness measure, parent reports, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), and the Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) to measure different aspects of child school readiness.  Results indicate that after 2 years, HIPPY children closed the gap numeracy and literacy scores, had significant positive effects on relating to their peers and prosocial behavior (the latter, only for those in the high fidelity group), and parents were three times more likely to be involved in their child’s learning and development.  With HIPPY, parents were more likely to have reduced levels of hostile parenting and, in general, the largest effects of HIPPY were found in relation to the home learning environment and parental self-efficacy. 


Read more about recent HIPPY research at: (under construction)