Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is an Australia wide program aimed at supporting parents, families and carers to work directly with their young children to improve their school readiness.
The Cathy Freeman Foundation works in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to deliver the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY). This two-year program is designed to instil children with the necessary skills to prepare themselves for the classroom in the early years of schooling. HIPPY is a home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program that works with parents of young children. HIPPY aims to build and strengthen families' connections to and engagements with their local community and to expand their networks and knowledge around local resources.
The fundamental elements of the HIPPY program are about providing children with new learning concepts, increasing the self-confidence of parents as early childhood educators, improving communications between parents and children, and creating a smooth transition to school. All of these generate a positive impact on family relationships and educational outcomes.
HIPPY began on Palm Island with 11 families and 1 tutor in 2014. Since then there has been great growth in this program, as word-of-mouth has spread talking about the benefits of the HIPPY program. This is a credit to the great trust we have built in the communities we support and the mutual respect we share.
Cathy Freeman Foundation currently employs four Tutors who support up to 50 families in weekly program delivery. With the support of parents, tutors and the community, we look forward to seeing more families approaching the Cathy Freeman Foundation and even greater numbers of children becoming school ready.
HIPPY is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services. The Brotherhood of St Laurence holds the licence to operate HIPPY in Australia.