Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a 2-year home-based parenting and early childhood program that helps parents and carers to be their child’s first teacher.
HIPPY builds the skills of parents and carers to help prepare their child for school.
The program also offers some parents and carers a path to work and local community leadership.
Who benefits from HIPPY services?
By giving parents the tools they need to give their children some early literacy and numeracy skills, HIPPY gives children a better start at school.
How are HIPPY services delivered?
Parents/carers and their children enrol in the program in the year their child turns three years old, then participates for the two years prior to starting full-time formal schooling.
Each program location is staffed by a qualified coordinator and a team of home tutors, who are usually past or current parents participating in the program who live in the community.
How is HIPPY funded?
The Australian Government funds the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) through HIPPY Australia. BSL has sub license funding agreements in place with around 65 community organisations to deliver the program locally in 100 sites across Australia.
Where is HIPPY located?
Since 2017, HIPPY has been delivered in 100 communities across Australia, targeting around 4,000 children each year. Fifty of these locations focus on Indigenous communities.
HIPPY Operational Guidelines assist HIPPY providers to work in a consistent, coordinated and cooperative way. The guidelines outline the arrangements for the implementation and ongoing delivery of HIPPY in 100 communities across Australia.
In 2017, ACIL Allen Consulting was engaged by the Department of Social Services to evaluate the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of HIPPY. The evaluation used a mixed-methods approach including a review of national and international literature, analysis of HIPPY administrative data provided by Brotherhood of St Laurence and consultations with stakeholders in 20 HIPPY sites. The HIPPY evaluation report was finalised in March 2018.
Stronger ACCOs, Stronger Families Part 2
BSL is engaging in the Stronger ACCOs (Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations), Stronger Families Part 2 project that aims to strengthen partnerships between non-Indigenous organisations and ACCOs. BSL is working with delivery partner Wunan Foundation to improve First Nation involvement and outcomes of the HIPPY program through participation in the project. More information can be found here.