Home Visiting

As a champion for early learning and care, we know that starting at home and supporting families from pregnancy into the earliest years of a child’s life is vital.

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What is home visiting?

Family with pregnant motherParenting is one of life’s most important roles but it’s hard work and having someone in your corner can really help make a difference. By partnering with families from pregnancy or birth through a child’s earliest years, home visitors support healthy parent-child relationships, promote child development, and encourage family health and well-being, laying a strong foundation for a child’s learning and future success in life.

Home visitors put relationships at the center of their work – first building positive and trusting partnerships with parents and caregivers and working with them to build a strong relationship with their baby.

Understanding that families know best what works for them and what does not, home visitors partner with caregivers to determine what priorities and goals are important to them. Together they develop a plan for creating a nurturing and stimulating home environment for their newest member of the family. This could include parent supports, community connections, and child development activities that will help children thrive.

Our Expertise in Home Visiting 

Home visiting has been at the heart of Start Early’s work for over 40 years. See how we work directly with children and families, support the home visiting workforce and advocate for policies that prioritize access to high-quality home visiting services.

Directly Serving Families

Baby in swaddleStart Early directly delivers home visiting and doula services for families living in under-served communities through the Healthy Parents & Babies Program, which offers support and coaching to pregnant people, young parents and children from birth to age 3 throughout Chicago. Additionally, Start Early leads the Home Visiting & Doula Network, which supports 30 home visiting programs throughout the state of Illinois.

Providing Best Practices & Support

Home visitor with mother and childHome visitors and family support professionals are an essential part of family wellbeing and strong program outcomes. As such, Start Early provides best practices and support to home visitors across the country. In Washington State, our home visiting team supports new and existing home visiting programs with coaching, consultation and training to ensure the highest-quality services to families. In Illinois, Start Early provides professional development opportunities to over 300 programs through the Professional Learning Network across the state. In addition, Start Early develops national professional development resources including: The Essentials of Home Visiting, our online training platform designed for home visitors; NEAR@Home, our free researched-based home visiting toolkit with trauma-informed practices; and hosts our annual National Home Visiting Summit to support home visitors.

Advocating for Policies

Young child holding mother's pregnant belly Policy and advocacy are integral parts of Start Early’s mission to ensure young children and their families have access to quality, equitable early learning and care. Advocating for policies that prioritize access to high-quality home visiting services is a proven way to support and strengthen positive outcomes for children and families.

Explore the future of early childhood with our Shaping Futures Together Agenda, our first-ever research and policy agenda that describes priorities identified by parents and practitioners. See insights about critical federal policies that could best support families and ensure all young children thrive.

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