Solving Social Ills Through Early Childhood Home Visiting

The Important Program Characteristics That Predict Better Outcomes

A meta-analysis of 55 studies examining the effects of home visiting programs on parents’ childrearing behaviors and children’s cognitive and language development by evaluation research firm James Bell Associates found that home visiting had an overall positive average on these outcomes. The researchers found that the program characteristics most strongly associated with better results in the areas of parenting behavior and skills included activities that created a stimulating home environment and content that addressed parental mental health and substance abuse.

In the area of child cognitive and language development, the meta-analysis study found that program characteristics most strongly associated with better outcomes were teaching parents what to expect about their child’s development; responsiveness, sensitivity to cues, or nurturing; promotion of child’s socio-emotional development; promotion of child’s cognitive development; as well as opportunities to role play and practice skills. Download the executive summary and full report.