Statement on COVID-19
This yearbook includes data from 2021, a year marked by the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic. As late as December, the pandemic brought a mix of “highs and lows” as the country rolled out vaccines to children aged 5–11 amid the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Our data decisions reflect the home visiting field’s evolving experience riding out the pandemic’s storm. For example, we continued collecting virtual and in-person service data in 2021 as programs began returning to in-person home visits at different points in time. We also received service data for Early Head Start Home-Based Option (EHS), which had suspended data reporting requirements the previous year.
We are grateful to the 15 evidence-based and 12 emerging models that shared their 2021 data to help us present the home visiting landscape.
Reflecting on Remote Services
In early 2021, a team of researchers from Portland State University, University of Connecticut, and Georgetown University began connecting with early childhood service providers (n = 43) and families served (n = 57) to learn about their experience with remote services. Interviews focused on understanding what worked well, what needed improvement, and how early experiences can shape program implementation going forward.
One of the key themes, notes lead researcher Rachel Chazan-Cohen was appreciation of the newfound flexibility among parents and providers alike. “Families felt like they had a much stronger voice in deciding when and how they would have contact with providers and what they would focus on together,” she says. “Providers felt it helped them maintain connections with families and manage their own pandemic stress.”