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School Readiness Program to Expand in Hillsborough County

The Florida Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Training and Technical Assistance Center has received approximately 1.2 million in funding from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County to expand a national home visitation, evidence-based program that focuses on parent involvement and school readiness. The Hillsborough HIPPY Parent Involvement Project (HHPIP) will focus on increasing parent involvement with preschool aged children including migrant and families who have children diagnosed with autism or pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified.   School readiness, early school success, and family strengthening will be addressed.  

Well-designed early childhood interventions have been found to generate a return to society ranging from $1.80 to $16.07 for each dollar spent on the program. After completing the first year in HIPPY, parents:

  • have acquired knowledge about child development and age appropriate expectations for their child
  • know how to initiate, monitor, and direct their child's pre-academic educational activities
  • participate more often in educational activities with thelr children in the home and community
  • more often set aside a specific time and place to work with their child on educational activities

After parents have completed at least two years of the HIPPY curricula:

  • their children's home literacy environment improves
  • they have more books and educational materials in the home
  • the child has acquired the pre-academic skills and knowledge that are necessary for success in kindergarten

Based upon the child's success in kindergarten and the parent acquiring the value of education, children continue to achieve academic success throughout school, parents remain involved in their child's education, the family is involved in local community activities, and families have strong parent-child relationships.

“Florida HIPPY is a parent involvement and school readiness program that offers free home-based early childhood education for three, four, and five-year-old children working with their parents as their first teacher. The program provides solutions that strengthen families and help pre-school children realize success by beginning kindergarten ready to learn,” said Dr. Mary Lindsey, State Director of the Florida HIPPY Training and Technical Assistance (FL HIPPY T&TA) Center. “This is a great opportunity to expand HIPPY, to serve more families, and add a much needed case management component to address the developmental needs of children birth to eight and other family members."

Florida HIPPY will be collaborating with the following  community partners who share a common mission of providing quality services to children and families in Hillsborough County.

Mental Health Care, Inc. will work with families in South Hillsborough County, the University Community areas, and Project Link, Inc. will work with families in East Tampa. In addition, HHPIP and the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida will work with the Bible-Based Fellowship Church of Temple Terrace, Inc. to serve families whose children have been diagnosed with autism and related developmental disabilities.

The FL HIPPY T&TA Center will be responsible for the tracking and reporting on the quantity, quality, and measurable outcomes.

“The evaluation results will be used to inform early childhood providers, policy makers, and funders that a high quality home visitation program combined with case management will produce positive outcomes for children and families,” said Dr. Lindsey.


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