HIPPY Graduates
(Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) is a home-based early education programme working in 40 communities around New Zealand.

HIPPY serves families from a wide range of ethnic and geographic groups across the country, particularly focusing on those most at risk because of poverty, limited education and social isolation.

HIPPY Locations


Our results are proven over nearly 30 years.

HIPPY builds connections

HIPPY helps parents build confidence and skills to create a positive learning environment to prepare their child for school.

The programme works with parents of 3-6 year-old children who live in low socio-economic areas and have low incomes.

Parents are actively supported through Home Visits and Group Meetings, where they connect with other parents. 

Each HIPPY site is led by a qualified, professional coordinator working with para-professional tutors. 

How HIPPY works

HIPPY builds confidenceThe 60-week curriculum, worked over two years, is made up of workbooks with activities that develop both the cognitive and non-cognitive skills that are essential for children to become competent learners.

The activities are linked to Te Whāriki, the Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum, and the New Zealand curriculum, enabling children to transition successfully into school.

HIPPY believes and practices three core premises:

1. People learn by doing
2. Parents can and do teach their children
3. Parents can teach and support other parents


HIPPY is based on the belief that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.

HIPPY time is bonding timeHIPPY is unique in the way that parents are assisted to develop new skills and confidence in teaching their children.

Many parents, for whom school was a struggle, find they have talents they were unaware of and this is the beginning of a new phase in their life.

Two generations benefit from HIPPY - as well as setting children on a positive pathway through education, the programme opens doors for parents into training, education and employment.

In 2018 a new curriculum was piloted in four HIPPY sites. Following the success of the pilot, the new curriculum was launched in 2019. The updated curriculum reflects the new younger starting age of children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old, providing greater opportunities for early learning, updated resources and bilingual books written for a New Zealand context.


  • develop a life-long love of learning
  • arrive at school ready to learn, and settle quickly into the learning environment
  • score better on literacy, numeracy and display a greater understanding of appropriate school behaviour than their non-HIPPY peers
  • retain their competency in reading and numeracy skills as they progress through school
  • experience increased self-esteem and confidence in learning      

HIPPY is enjoyable and funHIPPY PARENTS...

  • benefit from increased knowledge of child development and the way children learn
  • gain opportunities to enjoy positive time with their children
  • experience increased self-confidence
  • create a learning environment at home
  • experience an overall positive improvement in family relationships
  • develop improved communication with their children
  • meet with other parents and gain a sense of inclusion and connectedness with their community
  • are more likely than their peers to engage in positive educational activities with their children
  • are more likely than their peers to become involved in school activities with their children
  • are more likely than their peers to seek further education for themselves
  • gain employment and training opportunities


HIPPY facilitates Intergenerational changeA Mother's Story

In her mid-twenties, Deidre Tavita was a shy mother-of-one who rarely ventured outside her Glen Innes home. After leaving school at 15 she had taken a number of factory, laundry and cleaning jobs to make ends meet. Opportunities in life seemed limited. 

Twenty years later, with a degree in Early Childhood Education from NITEC, she became Head Teacher at Apii Potiki, a community preschool in Glen Innes.  She credits the HIPPY programme with helping her realise potential that she hadn’t known she possessed.

“The best thing was that HIPPY made me set aside time for my daughter and her learning every day. Probably I would have known that reading to her and teaching her was the right thing to do, but I don’t think I would have done it.” – Deidre Tavita


What parents say...

 What Hippy Parents Say What HIPPY parents say