Children’s earliest and most powerful learning comes from their family, so HIPPY helps build parents’ skills and confidence in their role as their child’s first teacher.
HIPPY supports parents to deliver a structured 60-week curriculum of learning activities, designed to make children ‘school-ready’ and develop a love of learning which will last a lifetime.
Activities and storybooks are fun and educational, and are aligned to the Australian Early Years Framework and National Quality Standards (NQS).
HIPPY is the most effective way to deliver early-childhood learning in the home – delivering great outcomes for children, parents and the community.
HIPPY is designed to fit into the daily life of the family. HIPPY families spend around 10 to 15 minutes a day, five days a week, doing educational activities together.
HIPPY families are supported by Tutors, who schedule regular weekly or fortnightly visits to discuss and work through the program activities in the family’s home. We encourage all parents to also participate in regular parent group meetings, where possible.
Each HIPPY program is staffed by a qualified Coordinator and a team of Tutors.
Tutors are usually parents participating in the same local program as the parents they support.
Tutors are paid employees and receive training and support from the Coordinator. Becoming a Tutor offers parents a pathway to training and employment and fosters community leadership.
HIPPY builds parents’ skills and confidence to take responsibility for their children’s learning.
HIPPY is in 100 communities across Australia. The Brotherhood of St Laurence holds the licence to operate HIPPY in Australia and the program is fully funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services.
Through HIPPY Australia, the Brotherhood of St Laurence licences over 60 community organisations to run HIPPY locally, and recognises that local organisations and people know their communities best. HIPPY Australia supports each of the 100 sites to deliver HIPPY in their communities.
The first experimental HIPPY program was set up in 1969 by Professor Avima Lombard. The research project was designed to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of home-based education intervention involving mothers and their preschool children from educationally disadvantaged sectors of society.
Today, HIPPY operates in eleven countries across the world, while HIPPY-inspired programs exist in six other countries. The different programs maintain strong networking links, and share materials, research and experience. The Brotherhood of St Laurence holds the licence with HIPPY International to deliver the program in Australia.
The first HIPPY site in Australia started in Melbourne in 1998, delivered by the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Twenty families were enrolled, with three Tutors employed to work with families in their homes.
Through securing philanthropic funding and donations, the Brotherhood of St Laurence could sustain and grow the program.
Since 2008, the Australian Government has supported and expanded the program to be delivered in 100 communities. The last 50 communities have a focus on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families. The Brotherhood of St Laurence established HIPPY Australia to deliver this national expansion.
Delivering proven, consistent outcomes, HIPPY delivers a strong, significant return on Commonwealth funding.
In 2020, HIPPY Australia is a proven program which delivers across four key areas: