Whether teaching positive parenting skills or helping caregivers secure child care, the Arkansas Home Visiting Network (AHVN) is focused on providing quality, evidence-based services to help families during pregnancy and until their kids enter kindergarten. Tyra Greenwood, AHVN Director and Excel by Eight (E8) steering committee member, is sharing more about what these programs entail—and how they help children achieve their greatest potential.

What is home visiting?

It is a family support program that takes place in the homes of families of young children, including those at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes. These voluntary programs match caregivers with trained providers from their own communities, such as educators, nurses, and social workers. These regular visits focus on enhancing prenatal care; strengthening the parent-child relationship; promoting early learning; and identifying and addressing potential health and developmental issues.

Why does home visiting focus on birth to five?

The brain development that occurs from birth to age five is instrumental to children’s ability to learn and to their long-term success. Home visiting helps educate families about this critical period of growth and connects them to available resources and supports, so they can ensure their children’s overall health and well-being.

What are the primary benefits of these programs?

Home visiting helps parents better understand and meet the needs of their children, so they are better equipped to support their long-term success. Decades of research shows these programs also help save taxpayer dollars by reducing more costly problems like low-weight births, emergency room visits, remedial education and juvenile delinquency.

What programs does AHVN support?

AHVN currently supports eight programs, which target specific age groups and promote various evidence-based education and health outcomes. For example, Early Head Start focuses on helping parents become the first and most important teachers for their children. Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters provides school readiness training to caregivers with children ages three to five. Following Baby Back Home offers health and wellness resources to families with medically fragile children up to age three. Additional information about AHVN’s programs is available here.

How is home visiting funded?

Federal, state, and private sources help fund home visiting in Arkansas, making this a free resource for families.

Have additional questions about home visiting? Visit AHVN’s website.