Why Home Visiting?

Early childhood home visiting is a service delivery strategy that connects new and expectant parents with a designated support person—often a trained nurse, social worker, or early childhood specialist—to meet in their home or another preferred location. The evidence base for home visiting, including its cost effectiveness, is strong and growing.  Below are examples of home visiting's demonstrated impact on critical needs.

Healthy Babies 

Home visitors work with expectant mothers to access prenatal care and engage in healthy behaviors during and after pregnancy. For example—

  • Pregnant home visiting recipients are more likely to access prenatal care and carry their babies to term.
  • Home visiting promotes infant caregiving practices like breastfeeding, which has been associated with positive long-term outcomes related to cognitive development and child health.

Safe Homes and Nurturing Relationships 

Home visitors provide parents with knowledge and training to reduce the risk of unintended injuries. For example—

  • Home visitors teach parents how to “baby proof” their home to prevent accidents that can lead to emergency room visits, disabilities, or even death.
  • Home visitors teach parents how to engage with their children in positive, nurturing ways, thus reducing child maltreatment.

Optimal Early Learning and Long-Term Academic Achievement

Home visitors offer parents timely information about child development and the importance of early childhood in establishing the building blocks for life. For example—

  • Home visitors help parents recognize the value of reading and other activities for early learning.
  • This guidance translates to improvements in children’s early language and cognitive development, as well as academic achievements in grades 1 through 3.

Self-Sufficient Parents

Home visitors help parents set goals to promote their financial self-sufficiency. This translates to better education and employment outcomes. For example—

  • Compared with their counterparts, parents enrolled in home visiting have higher monthly incomes, are more likely to be enrolled in school, and are more likely to be employed.

Learn more and see the sources for the information above in the 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook.