Early Language Home Visiting Study

Consistent, correct use of evidence-based practices by practitioners, such as home visitors, can help improve children’s outcomes. However, a number of factors, such as lack of access to high-quality professional learning opportunities, stand in the way of increasing use of evidence-based practices. This project offers insight into supporting home visitors’ use of evidence-based practices and assessments. 

One home visitor said, “Participation in this study definitely helped fill in some gaps in the way I approach language development in my daily work in early intervention. It gave me guidance on how to coach families and be more intentional about using language development strategies.”

AIR conducted a randomized control trial pilot study with a small sample of children, families, and home visitors to evaluate the impacts of an early language intervention, PC TALK, on children’s early language development. Ongoing data collection and analysis and rapid cycle assessments allowed the study team to evaluate implementation on a real-time basis and support continuous quality improvement, using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Collaborative Model. Home visitors enhanced their professional competencies through study participation.

Findings documented improvements in parents use of language development strategies.  The study also demonstrated methods that early intervention agencies can use to support high-fidelity implementation and scale-up of evidence-based practices with infants and toddlers. This work was conducted in partnership with early language development experts at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project from the University of Kansas and implementation specialists from the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network.