Frequently Asked Questions

First, your child will need to be the right age: families usually start HIPPY in January of the year before their child starts school. Priority is given to families who have not completed HIPPY before and meet one of the following conditions:

  • the familyholds a Health Care Card;
  • the HIPPY child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander;
  • the HIPPY child resides in out-of-home care;
  • the family has no source of income or are receiving a form of government support payment as their primary source of income;
  • single parent families;
  • the HIPPY child lives with a carer (i.e. not a parent); or
  • the main language spoken at home is not English.

Second, you need to check our website to see if there is a HIPPY program in your local community. If so, please contact the local coordinator to find out more. Click here for locations.

If there is not a HIPPY site in your area you may wish to speak with your local family services organisations to encourage them to make contact with us about opening a site.

HIPPY aims to provide a structured, education-focused early learning program at home to help prepare children for and to participate in school.

The benefits of HIPPY for children include:

  • encouraging a love of learning
  • maximising chances of enjoyment and doing well at school
  • promoting language and listening skills and developing concentration
  • building self-esteem and confidence in learning
  • improving communication between parents and children.

Benefits for families include:

  • helping create a learning environment at home
  • increasing parents’ knowledge of child development and the way children learn
  • providing parents with opportunities to enjoy positive time with their children
  • enabling parents to be actively involved in their children’s education
  • supporting parents to meet regularly and promoting a sense of inclusion and connectedness with their community
  • increasing parents’ self-confidence
  • HIPPY has an overall positive impact on family relationships
  • creating employment and training opportunities.

HIPPY is free for families

Partly. HIPPY certainly improves children's literacy, but also improves children's language skills, problem solving, numeracy and motor skills. It also helps families feel more confident about learning. Families use the activities provided to teach their children through reading, playing, listening and talking together.

Parents with a low level of literacy, or where English is a second language, can benefit from HIPPY.

HIPPY storybooks are translated into a number of different languages and trained Tutors role play the activities with the parents first.

There are lots of opportunities for parents to ask questions and learn appropriate words and concepts to pass on to their children. HIPPY can support all parents to feel confident about helping their children learn.

Home Tutors are HIPPY parents who are trained by a local Coordinator. The Home Tutors complete the activities with their own children first, before visiting families in their homes every fortnight, and role playing the activities with other HIPPY parents.

In Australia and internationally, research and evaluation has shown that HIPPY generates:

  • eagerness in children to learn new concepts
  • increased self-confidence of parents as early childhood educators
  • improved communication between parents and children
  • positive impact on family relationships
  • smooth transition to school.

HIPPY in Australia has undergone a national evaluation (Investing in our Future An evaluation of the national rollout of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters), and continues to examine the program's application and its outcomes.

Although HIPPY is in 100 sites across Australia, we are not able to reach every family interested in the program. If you cannot find a HIPPY site in your area, please contact other programs including early learning, parenting, training, and adult education such as:

You are welcome to make contact directly with your local HIPPY site to see if volunteering opportunities are available.

The Australian Commonwealth Government has funded the expansion of HIPPY to 100 communities across Australia, targeting around 5000 children each year. No additional funding is available to expand the program further at the moment.