Chapter 7 - The vital years

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The vital years


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learning to play a musical instrument or developing fine and gross motor skills, are best done as early as possible."31
   Another home-based parent-education program, which has had excellent success for children from age three to six, is called HIPPY: Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters.
  It started in Israel in 1969, and is now operating in over 20 other countries or states, servicing about 20,000 families a year outside Israel. It has probably been given its biggest boost in America through its success in Arkansas, with the support of the former Governor and now President Clinton and Hillary Clinton. President Clinton is warm in his praise for HIPPY:"This program, in my judgment is the best preschool program on earth, because it gives parents the chance to be their children's first teachers, no matter how meagre the education of the parent." 32
  HIPPY was designed by Professor Avima Lombard, initially for the nearly 200,000 refugees who came to Israel from Africa and Asia in the 1960s. They were poor and unsophisticated, and their children were sometimes neglected as their parents struggled to establish themselves in their new home. Like PAT, HIPPY takes training directly into the home, but for parents of children aged four and five. Mothers in the program receive one visit every two weeks, and they meet with other mothers in group meetings every second week.33
  Again, the results have been excellent - and in Arkansas not only have children benefited but the program has increased literacy among parents.34
  In Malaysia, a parent-education program has been taken out into the villages by Dr. Noor Laily Dato' Abu Bakar and Mansor Haji Sukaimi. They call it the Nury program - from a word that means "shining light". By mid 1992 they had trained 20,000 parents in Malaysia and 2,000 in Singapore.35

7. Parents in preschool centers
  New Zealand again has shown the way by piloting and researching both the Missouri PAT program and HIPPY. In Missouri, PAT is very much linked with schools, but in New Zealand the government has associated it with that country's Plunket program (named after a former head of state), which has pioneered infant health-care checks, parent education and family assistance for most of this century. For many years


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