The Mothers Matter Centre 

FAQ

Q1: What is the Mothers Matter Centre?
Q2: What is the flagship Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program?
Q3: How many mothers and children have been helped in Canada over the years?
Q4: How many HIPPY sites are there in Canada? How many moms are helped through each site?
Q5: Has HIPPY worked with Syrian and other Refugees?
Q6: Who benefits from the Mothers Matter Centre’s HIPPY program?
Q7: How do we know the HIPPY Program works?
Q8: What innovations can we look forward to from The Mothers Matters Centre?
Q9: Because Mothers Matter Award
Q10: Where does the Mothers Matter Centre get its funding?
Q11: Does Canada need the Mothers Matter Centre?
Q12: How does poverty, low literacy and isolation impact children?
Q13: What are the social, economic and health care impacts of poverty?
Q14: What difference do programs like HIPPY make in society?

Q1: What is the Mothers Matter Centre?

A: HIPPY Canada is pleased to announce their transition to the Mothers Matter Centre, dedicated to serving socially isolated and low economic status mothers and their families using our proven mother-to-mother approach. We will continue to grow and sustain our flagship Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program and develop other innovative programs addressing housing assistance, job-skills training, literacy and language training, healthcare, and more. The Mothers Matters Centre will function as a virtual, national consortium of like-minded organizations who share a common mission.

The Mothers Matter Centre is the national licensing and monitoring body for all HIPPY sites in Canada. It ensures that all program staff are provided with the monitoring and support, professional education training (in a train-the-trainer format), and performance management processes that contribute to better operations, service, and outcomes for HIPPY participants.

Q2: What is the flagship Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program? 

A: The HIPPY program is an evidence-based program that works with families in the home to support parents, primarily mothers, in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. HIPPY strengthens families and communities by empowering mothers to prepare their children for success in school.

At the core of the HIPPY program is a structured home visit that:

• Delivers a curriculum based on the needs of children to become school-ready;

• Leverages role-play as an important method of teaching the skills needed to implement the child-centred curriculum; and

• Features a peer Home Visitor system that enables mothers, who may be hard to reach because of social isolation, poverty, language, or other cultural issues, to feel comfortable participating in the program.

The HIPPY program employs moms, often graduates of the program, as Home Visitors who then work with newcomer, refugee, and Aboriginal mothers in their most important role – as their child’s first teacher. When paired with a Home Visitor, mothers develop their skills and gain confidence and self-esteem. The program builds bridges to the larger community, ending isolation and helping mothers take steps to prepare their kids for success in school. Home Visitors receive weekly training, employment experience, and career mentoring that supports them in their transition to other work or higher education.

The HIPPY program’s holistic approach benefits home visitors, mothers, and their families.

The HIPPY program started in Israel more than 40 years ago. It is now in 11 countries around the world.

Q3: How many mothers and children have been helped in Canada over the years? 

A: In the past 17 years, HIPPY has helped more than 10,000 mothers gain new skills and build confidence and abilities essential to strengthening mother-child relationships. This means at least 10,000 children were better prepared to get the most from their early school experiences. Many more than 20,000 lives have been positively impacted.

Q4: How many HIPPY sites are there in Canada? How many moms are helped through each site? 

A: In 2016/2017, the Mothers Matter Centre has 28 HIPPY program sites across the country (including 10 Aboriginal and 18 multicultural sites). Generally, each site helps 35 – 100 families each year and, this year, the Mothers Matter Centre helped 1,226 families while employing 108 Home Visitors.

Q5: Has HIPPY worked with Syrian and other Refugees? 

A: Canada has generously welcomed more than 40,000 refugees since 2015 and the HIPPY program staff have been there to welcome them. We have found families who are struggling with re-settlement issues relating to post-traumatic stress, language barriers, isolation, and often low first-language literacy. Our goal is to ensure refugee children have the best possible chance of success. Our early research is showing that the HIPPY program is very effective intervention for meeting the diverse and complex needs of the newly arrived refugees.

Q6: Who benefits from the Mothers Matter Centre’s HIPPY program? 

A: Children in the HIPPY program show improved school readiness, school performance, English skills, reading abilities, school behaviour, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Mothers in the HIPPY program say they have better relationships with their kids and increased self-confidence. They feel less isolated, have the confidence to be more actively involved in their children’s schools, spend more time with their children to help them learn, and have expanded their social networks.

HIPPY Home Visitors often get their first Canadian job experience through HIPPY, after facing multiple employment barriers. Home Visitors receive training, employment skills, and transition support to graduate to other jobs and higher education, following their three-year, work-to-learn position. Once isolated themselves, Home Visitors are now highly-employable who contribute to the economic well-being of their families and communities.

Q7: How do we know the HIPPY Program works? 

A: HIPPY is recognized internationally as an evidence-based program.

Results are summarized with examples of more recent studies that prove each positive outcome:

1) Significant improvement soon after intervention in reading and language skills 1, math skills 2, and relations with peers 3.

2) Long-term, higher rates of school attendance 4, college attendance 5, transference of program benefits to younger siblings 6, and math achievement 7.

3) Parents demonstrate improvement in the parent-child relationship 8, in their relations with the school, with other family members and the community 9, and in parents’ self-esteem, knowledge, and confidence in their parenting skills 10.

4) When compared to non-HIPPY parents, after two years in the program HIPPY Parents were more likely than non-participants 11:

• to rely on employment income

• less likely to rely on savings

• less likely to rely on government support.

HIPPY USA is featured in the Social Impact Exchange and the S&I 100 (an index of the 100 top U.S. nonprofit organizations creating social impact). Following research correlating the program with positive child and parent outcomes, the New Zealand and Australian governments recently funded major expansions of the HIPPY model.

Q8: What innovations can we look forward to from The Mothers Matters Centre?

Bond to Literacy

A condensed, 12-week program, Bond to Literacy will deliver education to low-income, disadvantaged families who need it most. Of the 11 Bond to Literacy sites in four provinces, the majority support refugee parents, and three sites focus on serving Aboriginal communities.

Adopt-a-Reader

Hosted in partnership with First Book Canada (who donates 5,000 books each year) and supported by TD Bank Group, through Adopt-a-Reader, 500 HIPPY parents adopt and mentor non-HIPPY parents to read to their children for 10 minutes each day for 15 days. This program builds leadership skills in HIPPY parents as they learn to share their knowledge about early literacy with other parents.

Future Innovations

The Mothers Matter Centre is proposing a formal curriculum with an accredited university to train Home Visitors in how to deliver services in a variety of areas including health and mental health, early literacy, gender bias, family violence, and settlement.

We are looking at an adapted HIPPY program to support women who are incarcerated and residing with their small children.

We are engaged in a series of adaptations of the HIPPY program to serve refugees.

Q9: Because Mothers Matter Award

The Mothers Matter Centre celebrates women’s everyday – yet extraordinary – achievements with an annual Because Mothers Matter Award. We recognize both a prominent Canadian mother who has demonstrated commitment and dedication to her community as well as outstanding mothers from the HIPPY program who embody the courage and determination of HIPPY families and serve as models for the unique role mothers play in leading social change.

Award Recipients:

2017 – Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Maysaa Haj Ali, Tracy Joseph

2016 – Dr. Julie Payette, Erika Infante Pizarro, Jenny Duquette

2015 Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Nagham Fawaz

Q10: Where does the Mothers Matter Centre get its funding?

A: The Mothers Matter Centre and the HIPPY site across rely largely on government sources of funding and to a lesser extent private sector donations.

Q11: Does Canada need the Mothers Matter Centre?

A: Poverty, illiteracy and social isolation are linked and, together, they hurt children. The Mothers Matter Centre is designed to change these social conditions.

More than 1.5 million women in Canada are living on a low income. That means that one in every five children live in poverty. From birth, many of our children will have the cards stacked against them.

Across Canada, 50% of status First Nations children live in poverty, a figure that increases to 62% in Manitoba and 64% in Saskatchewan. 12

Q12: How does poverty, low literacy and isolation impact children?

A: Movement for Canadian Literacy argues that:

• Low literacy, poverty and exclusion are all part of the same problem. Children from low-income families are at risk of having low rates of literacy.

• Children from low-income families are burdened with labels and expectations that hinder their academic performance.

• Children from families living on low incomes are twice as likely to drop out of school as their non-poor counterparts.

• Low-income parents often lack the skills and capacity to advocate for their children in the school system.

• Families whose parents had one to eight years of formal education faced three times the probability of living in poverty

Q13: What are the social, economic and health care impacts of poverty?

A: Poverty costs Canada between $72 and $84 billion annually; Ontarians pay $2,299-$2,895 per year, while British Columbians pay over $2,100 per year. 13

Poverty affects quality of life, including health: the 2008 National Population Health Survey found that 73% of Canadians with high incomes reported their health as excellent, compared to 47% of Canadians with the lowest level of incomes.

This study also reported that the total economic cost in Ontario, when private and public (or social) costs were combined, is equal to 5.5 to 6.6 percent of Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 14

Q14: What difference do programs like HIPPY make in society?

A: It has been estimated that $1 invested in the early years of a child’s life can save up to $9 in future spending in the healthcare system. 15

By raising literacy scores by 1% in Canada, Canada’s national economic productivity is expected to increase by 2.5% or $18 billion per year. 16

Three studies solidify outcomes resulting from early-childhood intervention with at risk children that included free early childhood education services of varying intensity, often coupled with parental services. 17 Multiple benefits were noted from these studies including:

• increases in IQ

• decreased enrollment in Special Education

• higher high school graduation rates

• less dependency on welfare

• lower rates of teen pregnancy

• higher marriage rates

• marked declines in crime

• improved longitudinal literacy and math performance

• and reduced incidences of child abuse.

From a purely economic standpoint (based on analysis of the Perry Preschool Study), the annual rate of return for each Perry participant is four percent, for society at large this rate is 12 percent, leading to a total annual rate of return of 16 percent. 18

 

References

  1. Brown, A. L., & Lee, J. (2015). Evaluating the efficacy of children participating in Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters and Head Start. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 1476718X15577006. http://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X15577006.
  2. Van Tuijl, C., & Leseman, P. P. M. (2004). Improving mother-child interaction in low-income Turkish-Dutch families: A study of mechanisms mediating improvements resulting from participating in a home-based preschool intervention program. Infant and Child Development, 13(4), 323–340. http://doi.org/10.1002/icd.363.
  3. Barnett, T., Roost, F. D., & McEachran, J. (2012). Evaluating the effectiveness of the home interaction program for parents and youngsters (HIPPY). Family Matters, 91(1), 27–37.
  4. Brown, A. L. (2013). The impact of early intervention on the school readiness of children born to teenage mothers. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 13(2), 181–195. http://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X13479048.
  5. Kagitcibasi, C., Sunar, D., Bekman, S., Baydar, N., & Cemalcilar, Z. (2009). Continuing effects of early enrichment in adult life: The Turkish Early Enrichment Project 22?? years later. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(6), 764–779.
  6. Chatterji, S. (2014). The Long-Term Effect of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program on Academic Achievement: Evidence from a School District in Texas, (May). Honors Thesis: Stanford University.
  7. Nievar, M. A., Jacobson, A., Chen, Q., Johnson, U., & Dier, S. (2011). Impact of HIPPY on home learning environments of Latino families. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(3), 268–277.
  8. Palladino, D.K. Evaluation of the 2014-15 Home. Instruction for Parents of Preschool. Youngsters (HIPPY) Program. Department of Evaluation and Assessment. Dallas Independent School District.
  9. Johnson, U. Y., Martinez-Cantu, V., Jacobson, A. L., & Weir, C.-M. (2012). The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters Program’s Relationship with Mother and School Outcomes. Early Education & Development, 23(5), 713–727.
  10. Necoechea, D. M. (2007). Children at-risk for poor school readiness: The effect of an early intervention home visiting program on children and parents. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Prairie Research Associates (PRA) Inc. (2015) Evaluation of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program. HIPPY Canada. October 14.
  12. http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about-women-and-poverty.
  13. http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts.
  14. http://www.oafb.ca/assets/pdfs/CostofPoverty.pdf.
  15. www.publichealth.gc.ca.
  16. http://eyeonkids.ca/docs/files/national_strategy_for_early_literacy_report%5B1%5D.pdf.
  17. Chicago Child-Parent Centers (CPC), Abecedarian program, and Perry Preschool Study.
  18. http://datacenter.spps.org/sites/2259653e-ffb3-45ba-8fd6-04a024ecf7a4/uploads/ABC-Part2.pdf  http://jenni.uchicago.edu/human-inequality/papers/Heckman_final_all_wp_2007-03-22c_jsb.pdf.