Children’s learning outcomes improve: Initial findings of research into our HIPPY program

24 July 2018

Initial findings of research into our national HIPPY early learning and parenting program indicate children’s learning outcomes improve by doing HIPPY.

Senior Research Fellow Tim Gilley from our Research and Policy Centre is at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in Melbourne this week, making a poster presentation of preliminary findings of his longitudinal research into the program.

HIPPY – the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters – is a free two-year early-learning and parenting program that empowers parents and carers to be their children's first teacher in their homes.  More than 4,500 children a year in 100 communities across Australia undertake a structured curriculum to support them to make a successful transition to school and beyond. 

To assess what the program is achieving for children and their families, the HIPPY longitudinal study is interviewing more than 650 parents from 45 sites around Australia.

The study assesses each child’s learning and development over the two years — and parent engagement. 

The main research findings are due to come out in June next year.  Initial analysis on the 2016 age four group found:

  • Children’s learning outcomes were shown to improve  
  • Families are highly engaged in HIPPY activities with their children and learning in the home improves, and 
  • The majority of families are disadvantaged and would benefit from HIPPY.

This map shows all HIPPY sites, with research sites marked in orange. 

Families start HIPPY the year before their child starts school – usually around four years old – and continue during the first year of school. 

HIPPY families spend 10 to 15 minutes a day, five days a week, doing educational activities together. Home tutors make regular weekly or fortnightly visits with parents and carers in their homes to work through the activities. Parents are also encouraged to participate in regular parent group meetings.

Find out more about HIPPY and about the work of our Research and Policy Centre.

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