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Model Profiles

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2023 Yearbook

Early Steps to School Success

Early Steps to School Success (ESSS) builds strong foundations for parenting and school readiness in communities with limited resources. The model aims to help provide children with the skills necessary for success in school; empower parents with the knowledge and skills to support their children’s education; strengthen the connection between the home, school, and community; and significantly increase early childhood knowledge and skills in communities.

What is the model’s approach to providing home visiting services?

Home visits take place twice a month until a child is 3 years old. ESSS recommends that families begin services prenatally, but they can enroll any time before the child is 2 years old.

ESSS’ target population includes the following:

  • Expectant mothers
  • Low-income families
  • First-time mothers or first-time parents
  • Teenage mothers or teenage parents
  • Parents/caregivers with limited education

Who is implementing the model?

Home Visitors

ESSS was implemented by 116 home visitors in 2019. The model requires a high school diploma or GED and experience working with families and children for home visitors; an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and experience in home visiting and child health and/or development are recommended. Home visitors are required to maintain a caseload of 20 children.


ESSS was implemented by 17 supervisors in 2019. The model requires a bachelor’s degree and experience in early education, child health and/or development, home visiting, staff supervision, and working with families and children for supervisors; a master’s degree is recommended.

Where is the model implemented?

ESSS operated in 100 local agencies across 10 states in 2019.

Families Served Through Home Visiting in 2019

home visits provided
families served
children served

Caregiver age

11% ≤ 21 years

44% 22-29 years

38% 30-44 years

7% ≥ 45 years

Caregiver education

18% No HS diploma

47% HS diploma or GED

22% Some college or training

13% Bachelor's degree or higher


19% Hispanic or Latino

81% Not Hispanic or Latino

Child age

5% <1 year

30% 1-2 years

65% 3-5 years

Note • Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding. • To protect confidentiality, race and ethnicity categories with 10 or fewer caregivers were replaced with *.