Delivery of the intervention: Family-based
Aim of the intervention: The intervention aims to improve child’s school readiness and to strengthen their social skills and interactive relations. The intervention supports parents and family in everyday life when the child starts the school.
Description of the intervention: FHille is a structured intervention for 5–6 years old children and their families, and it supports the child’s development and learning through play prior to school start. The intervention lies on development psychological theories and on research-based evidence, which shows that supporting parenthood strengthens the child’s development. FHille is provided for families, who are evaluated to potentially benefit from it, approximately a year before their child starts the school. Participation in the intervention is voluntary. Families are directed to the intervention through early childhood education or child health clinic, where appropriateness of FHille for the child is assessed. Intervention lasts 30 weeks and the families meet a FHille instructor every second week. Between the meetings families learn the FHille material and exercise daily. A suitable version of the intervention has also been developed for 4–5 years old children.
Availability of the intervention in Finland: Everyone interested in the intervention can participate in FHille-training in the municipalities, which deliver the intervention. Folkhälsan organizes the trainings. The Finnish FHille is based on the Hippy-program developed in Israel and HippHopp intervention developed in Denmark. Folkhälsan coordinates the piloting of the intervention in the municipalities. Currently pilots are ongoing in Ostrobothnia (Pohjanmaa), Southwest Finland (Varsinais-Suomi) and Uusimaa (Folkhälsan 2020). Intervention is offered in Swedish.
Research- and evidence-based efficacy of the intervention: There is abundant international research on Hippy-program and two high-quality RCT studies, which provide evidence of effectiveness for the intervention (Baker et al. 1998; Neoechea 2007). However, there is neither peer-reviewed research on FHille-intervention nor research-based evidence-based effectiveness in Finland.
- Baker, A. J. L., Piotrkowski, C.S. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1998). The effects of the home instruction program for preschool youngsters on children’s school performance at the end of the program and one year later. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 13(4), 571–586.
- Folkhälsan. (2020). https://www.folkhalsan.fi/barn/foraldrar/forberedelse-for-skolstarten/.
- Necoechea, D. (2007). Children at-risk for poor school readiness: The effect of an early intervention home visiting program on children and parents. Dissertation abstracts international section A: Humanities and Social Sciences 68 (6-A), 2311.