This short video features findings from the Preschool Development Grant case study evaluation and is being used by early childhood professionals and others as they seek additional resources to further sustain and scale their work.
To advance Colorado’s vision that all children are ready for school when entering kindergarten, the Office of Early Childhood in the Colorado Department of Human Services launched the Home Visiting for Home Child Care Providers pilot program in 2019.
“Home-based child care providers often feel isolated and may not be connected to the tools they need to better support the children in their care and their families,” said Lindsey Dorneman, Director of the Preschool Development Grant, Birth through Five.
The pilot was designed to address this challenge by connecting home-based child care providers with home visitors who deliver evidence-based curriculums. Historically, home visitors and home child care providers have not interacted even though both play key roles in child development and family strengthening. “The home visiting pilot doesn’t feel like a revolutionary new program or new approach to serving children and families, but it is,” says Dorneman. “It’s really small, simple steps that we can take as a state to improve outcomes for young children.”
This pilot was created on the basis that home visiting works. The evidence behind the home visiting models used in the pilot—Parents as Teachers (PAT) and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)—is robust, lending confidence that these services can positively influence early childhood learning and development in home child care settings, as they have through direct participation by parents.
Five home visiting agencies representing diverse community demographics participated in the pilot: Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council, Bright Futures, Hilltop Family Resource Center, North Range Behavioral Health, and Roots Family Center. Staff at participating agencies were trained to deliver the PAT and HIPPY curriculums in English and Spanish. The agencies then reached out to providers in the area they serve, inviting them to partner in this pilot.
The Colorado Lab conducted a retrospective case study evaluation of the 2-year pilot to identify the drivers of successes, major impacts, and primary opportunities for growth. Participants consistently elevated relationships as most important to achieving success. Sites with a respected reputation and existing connections were well positioned to engage home child care providers. From this foundation, relationships were further nurtured as the home visitors worked directly with providers, building their capacity to effectively deliver their new knowledge on early childhood development to the children and families they serve.
The value of nurturing relationships was compelling—100% of the providers who participated in the study said they would recommend this home visitation pilot to other child care providers. Across all sites, providers spoke passionately about the positive impacts of the pilot, from increasing their ability to provide age-appropriate learning activities and increase school readiness, to enriching the learning environment by providing books and other material resources, and establishing highly-valued professional, supportive networks that reduced isolation.
“Our preliminary findings demonstrate these partnerships can be a strategic lever to enrich home-based care and learning environments and, in turn, advance school readiness and achieve educational equity for all Colorado children,” says Dr. Courtney Everson, Senior Researcher/Project Director with the Colorado Lab. The Lab’s evaluation report, Home Visiting for Home Child Care Providers – The Power of Early Childhood Partnerships, details findings from initial evidence-building activities and offers policy and practice recommendations for sustaining and growing home visiting-home child care provider partnerships.
This project is supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative, Grant Number 90TP0054. Its contents do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.