Dad and baby

Model Profiles

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’ service population includes the following:

  • Expectant caregivers
  • Families with low incomes
  • First-time caregivers
  • Caregivers under 21 years old
  • Caregivers with limited access to education

Who is implementing the model?

Home Visitors

ESSS was implemented by 155 home visitors in 2022. 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 43 supervisors in 2022. 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 155 local agencies across 9 states in 2022.


Families Served Through Home Visiting in 2022

home visits provided
including 20,474 virtual visits
families served
children served

Caregiver age

5% ≤21 years

39% 22-29 years

51% 30-44 years

5% ≥45 years

Caregiver education

14% No HS diploma

46% HS diploma or GED

21% Some college or training

18% Bachelor's degree or higher


23% Hispanic or Latino

77% Not Hispanic or Latino

Primary language

84% English

15% Spanish

1% Another language

Household income

86% Low-income status

14% Not low-income status

Child age

16% <1 year

53% 1-2 years

31% 3-5 years

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