Several home visiting models provide valuable support to Wyoming parents and young children. Parents as Teachers is the selected model for the MIECHV initiative. Others models also serving Wyoming families, include Nurse-Family Partnership, Early Head Start, Head Start and Best Beginnings.
The Parents as Teachers model supports the healthy development and literacy of young children and mentors parents to be responsible for their children’s health and well-being so they can become their children’s most important and “best” teachers. The approach consists of four components: personal visits, health and developmental screenings, group connections and links to community resources. The evidence-based model is designed for the prenatal through kindergarten years and is focused on ensuring that young children are healthy, safe and ready for school. Parents as Teachers develops and provides research-informed programming, tools and training to promote the optimal early learning, development and health of young children and their parents or caregivers and trains parent educators and other early childhood professional throughout the country. Parent educators are skilled at serving all types of families including teen parents, families with children with special needs, single parents, and more, and engage fathers in the personal visit experience.
Early Head Start provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families, and pregnant women and their families. All Early Head Start programs serve families through a full day, full year program option that best meets the needs of their families. As infants and toddlers grow and change, and as family needs evolve, diverse program options can support them over time. This ensures that families can grow within a consistent, supportive setting, buttressed by strong relationships and developmentally-appropriate care and services.
Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. Head Start encourages the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teachers. Programs build relationships with families that support positive parent-child relationships, family well-being, and connections to peers and community.
Wyoming legislation requires the Department of Health to provide contacts during pregnancy with eligible women, or where contact was not made prenatally, and offers a home visit using evidence-based or research-based home visiting models. This service is available to all women, during pregnancy and/or following the birth of the baby for assessment, information as well as referral to community agencies as needed. Best Beginnings provides a comprehensive, coordinated, community-based system of perinatal services for expecting moms. The program assures early and continued prenatal care and coordination of services appropriate for pregnant women and their families. The Legislation also mandates that the Department of Health provide home visiting services to priority populations, including first-time mothers using Nurse Family Partnership (NFP). The NFP model provides education and support to first-time mothers in low-income communities using specially-trained nurse home visitors. Families receive services starting in pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. NFP is designed to improve (1) prenatal health and outcomes, (2) child health and development, and (3) families’ economic self-sufficiency and/or maternal life course development.