About the HIPPY Program

HIPPY empowers parents to be their child’s first teacher. With Australian Government support, the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) together with local partner organisations deliver HIPPY to vulnerable children and families; provide local jobs and skill development; and strengthen communities in 100 sites.

Throughout 2016 HIPPY provided children the opportunity to give direct feedback about their experience in the program. The project was designed as part of quality assurance, to enhance children’s engagement and improve service delivery.   Across Australia, 180 children, at 13 different sites, participated.

HIPPY used a multi-method approach to collect qualitative and quantitative data about children’s experience in the program. The data collection activities were designed to engage children from four to five years old. All activities were endorsed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence Research and Policy Ethics Committee (HREC).

Through this process HIPPY recorded preferences from the children which will inform service improvement and resources. The design of the activities and the methodology could be used by other professionals looking to gather feedback from pre-school aged children.

The 2016 process has raised staff awareness of the importance of including children’s voices in the program and how this process can lead to more effective programs. It also highlighted how key the parent-child relationship is to the child’s engagement with HIPPY.

Sharon Sparks went on to win a Warrawong Learning Grant to investigate world renown children’s participation methods in the UK and Sweden. This has led to planning for a second children’s voices listening tour.

Read more on the workshop details