- Designed for parents and their children, aged three to five years-old, HIPPY program materials consist of:
- activity books
- ‘basic supplies’ such as geometric shapes, scissors and crayons.
- Activity books are set out like lesson plans for the parent, providing them with developmentally appropriate activities for their children with the objective of ensuring a successful and enjoyable learning experience.
- Reading together and talking about the storybooks help develop a love of literacy in the family.
- Building on the storybooks to expand literacy skills, HIPPY’s easy-to-use activities nurture school readiness skills, including:
- language development
- perceptual and sensory discrimination
- logical thinking
- HIPPY introduces skills and concepts in a progressive manner, first using the physical body, then concrete objects and finally representation of objects in pictures, followed by opportunities for practice and learning.
- Parents are encouraged to build on the information in the activities in order to generalize the learning in all areas of their children’s lives.
- Wide-ranging, fun-learning HIPPY activities include reading, writing, drawing, singing, rhyming, games, puzzles, cooking, baking and more.
- Constant reviewing and updating ensures that the HIPPY curriculum is relevant for families and reflects current educational research findings.
- HIPPY facilitates initiatives for change, additional materials and extension activities developed in different member countries.
The Home Visitor:
- brings the HIPPY curriculum into the home.
- supports the parent, one-to-one, in transforming the home environment into a place of rich learning opportunities.
- accords to the parent a sense of respect for her/his role and authority as the child’s primary educator.
- as a community member, knows the language, lives the culture, and has faced the same challenges as the families with whom s/he works .
- as a HIPPY parent, knows the materials, and, through weekly training, can transfer concepts and terminology to other parents.
- receives valuable on-the-job training and support with the goal of moving on to additional educational and professional opportunities.
The home visit is an effective, evidenced-based, cost-efficient way to bring families and educational resources together.
Parent groups and parent workshops are held once or twice a month and are facilitated by the HIPPY local coordinator, assisted by the team of home visitors.
HIPPY Parent Groups bring parents together to:
- share experiences and ideas
- reflect on the HIPPY activities
- discuss parenting topics among themselves and with professional experts
HIPPY Parent-Children Workshops
- offer children the opportunity to interact socially in a supervised environment
- offer parents the opportunity to observe and consider their child-rearing practices.
The HIPPY Local Coordinator, qualified in early childhood education or related fields, acts as local program manager. In this role, the local coordinator:
- networks with community services and local authorities
- ushers new programs into communities
- hires and trains home visitors
- recruits families, in consultation with local services
- organizes and facilitates parent group meetings, parent-child workshops and special events (trips, festival celebrations, etc.).
HIPPY parent groups and parent-child workshops are stepping-stones for many parents into wide-ranging community and school involvement.
Training and Learning
Training, instruction, guidance, shared learning experience, knowledge and skill-building are core components of the HIPPY experience. There is a progressive linking of training experiences that allow for parents to engage in fun learning experiences with their children.
Training goes on between:
- national and local coordinators;
- local coordinators and home visitors in small groups and on a one-to-one basis;
- home visitors and parents;
- parents and children.
In a training session, material of the previous week is reviewed, and any questions and challenges are discussed. Then new material for the upcoming week is reviewed. Role play is widely used as an effective, experiential teaching method by coordinator with home visitors and home visitors with parents.