The NHVRC is pleased to present the 2021 Home Visiting Yearbook, our fifth annual view of home visiting at the state and national levels. Like its predecessors, the 2021 Home Visiting Yearbook looks back at data from the prior year—and what a year it was.
As we wrote last Fall, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced many unknowns to the field of early childhood home visiting. How would programs juggle virtual and in-person services? Did states and models have the capacity to share data while serving families and navigating when and how to safely return to in-person services? Unsurprisingly, models and states rose to the challenge of reporting data during continued crisis. Fifteen evidence-based models, and 54 states and territories provided us with 2020 data.
The NHVRC also grappled with how to best reflect the transition to virtual visits necessitated by the pandemic. For the first time, we asked models for counts of virtual visits, and to share their guidance for distinguishing such visits from other family interactions. Many models heeded the call. According to the data received, nearly half of the home visits provided by evidence-based models in 2020 were provided virtually; we recognize the percentage is likely much higher due to challenges differentiating virtual and in-person visits in some data systems.
Other data challenges emerged due to the unique circumstances. Early Head Start Home-Based Option (EHS) did not require local programs to submit data for 2020, in response to a data reporting reprieve granted by the federal government. Because EHS accounts for a significant number of children and families served by home visiting, the model’s decision—while the right call for better meeting families’ needs on the ground—impacted our annual counts. After consulting our Advisory Committee and EHS partners, we agreed to use the model’s 2019 data, slightly adjusted, as a proxy for 2020.
In a year marked by unknowns, home visiting could have shut down. Instead, programs demonstrated their passion and resilience, shifting to virtual service delivery and finding new and creative ways to engage families. To highlight their Herculean efforts, we did our best to continue providing the most accurate snapshot of home visiting possible. Thank you for helping us share that story.