This review was conducted by the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of BC for the Trail Health and Environment Committee. The THEC wanted to develop a resource for exploring what additional actions could be taken to help improve early childhood development and young children’s health outcomes in Trail. This extensive package of documents identifies and describes the published literature on early childhood development, the benefits and effectiveness of in-home visitation and community-based collaborative programs, and the features of such programs that can promote health equity.
The review found that the in-home visitation programs shown to be most effective are those provided by professionals or well-trained para-professionals; are tailored to local social and cultural conditions; have a comprehensive, intensive, rigorous approach (with a theoretical framework) that can be sustained over time with fidelity; include more frequent visitation (for at-risk families). For both home-visitation and broader community-based programs, the literature supports collaboration between program staff, parents, and the community. Coalition building and multi-sectoral strategies appear to be more effective than single strategies. There is evidence that building and sustaining relationships across family, school and the community can improve outcomes for low incomes and socially or culturally marginalized families.