How HIPPY Works
The core of the HIPPY program is a structured home visit that:
- Delivers a curriculum based on the needs of children to become school-ready;
- Recognizes role-play as the method of teaching the skills needed to implement the child-centred curriculum; and
- Features a peer home visitor system that enables mothers, who may be hard to reach due to social isolation, poverty, language, or other cultural issues, to feel comfortable participating in the program.
Well-trained peer Home Visitors deliver books and 30 weeks of high-quality curriculum activities directly to parents who then work 15 to 20 minutes a day with their own three, four, and five-year-old children. HIPPY Home Visitors share the language, culture and life experiences of the families they serve and are frequently mothers who participated in the HIPPY program with their own children. Working for HIPPY is often the first job in Canada for many mothers employed as Home Visitors, highlighting HIPPY’s commitment to prepare Home Visitors for their next job in the work force.
HIPPY empowers mothers as the primary educators of their children in the home and fosters their involvement in school and community to strengthen mother-child relationships and to maximize successful early school experiences.heir children for success in school.
Professional Education Program
HIPPY strives to ensure that both Home Visitors and parents and children in the program grow their confidence and skills to succeed in life. For children, that means enabling them to succeed in the Canadian school system. For parents and Home Visitors, that means ensuring that they are able to pursue their like goals such as meaningful employment, continued education or successful integration into life in Canada.
HIPPY Canada has developed a three-year training program for Home Visitors (and possibly parents) across Canada, which is designed to build their capacity to serve HIPPY families and will also support them as they transition out of HIPPY into other employment or higher education.
Through in-class and online training, Home Visitors will participate in practical skills-building and exploration of key theory and principles related to HIPPY themes such as early childhood development, adult education, immigrant settlement & integration, home visiting approaches, Aboriginal people in Canada and career exploration. They will also develop leadership skills and spend time on personal growth and building their essential skills such as reading, writing, computer skills and interpersonal dynamics.
After the first year of program development and testing, HIPPY Canada is excited to report that this training program is being very well received by Home Visitors and site administrators. Year two of the program will deepen skills and theory in the core topics, preparing Home Visitors and parents to participate in practicum placements and mentorship programs that will enable them to put their new skills and confidence to work. Another exciting development is the strong possibility of receiving academic credit or certification from Mount Royal University – which expands the future prospects of all the participants in the training program.
HIPPY’s mission derives from the following assumptions and principles:
- All children want to learn – and, under proper conditions, all children can learn.
- All children mature across the same developmental areas and learning and development is multidimensional and interrelated.
- Parents want the best for their children.
- Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.
- Parents can learn how to teach their children school readiness skills and knowledge
- Parents can be supported and taught by other parents.
- Children’s learning is enhanced when parents have knowledge and understanding of children’s growth and development.
- A parent’s role as first teacher is enhanced with access to appropriate materials, techniques and consistent support.
- Respect and acknowledgement of diversity enhance children’s and parents’ sense of belonging.
- When parents are active in their children’s early learning, a lifelong and ongoing process of parents’ supporting their children’s education begins.
- Programs that are integrated into a community context will better serve the families of that community.