Original Research

Supporting good outcomes for early childhood home-visiting programmes: Guidelines for practice

Kim Schmidt, Pius T. Tanga
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 14, No 1 | a1403 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v14i1.1403 | © 2024 Kim Schmidt, Pius T. Tanga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2023 | Published: 25 March 2024

About the author(s)

Kim Schmidt, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa
Pius T. Tanga, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


Background: This article emerged from a larger qualitative study, which revealed that children continue to be exposed to a complex range of risk factors with devastating consequences for their well-being. Gaps in services further hinder their development. The study concluded that there is a need for multidisciplinary teams to implement an early childhood home-visiting programme, and that such a programme would hold many potential benefits for the young and vulnerable children.

Aim: This article presents a set of guidelines that can be used to support good outcomes for an early childhood home-visiting programme for vulnerable children aged 0 – 2 years.

Setting: The study is set in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Methods: The guidelines were developed over three phases of the study, which used an intervention research design.

Results: The guidelines emerged as a number of practice principles and include: engagement and advocacy; the recruitment of a multidisciplinary workforce; training of the home-visiting workforce; implementation of the programme; and monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

Conclusion: The article suggests that the guidelines hold promise for both supporting the well-being of vulnerable children and shaping a programme that is preventative, focussed on early intervention, and both multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary in nature.

Contribution: The guidelines are intended as a support to those working in the fields of both early childhood and vulnerable children, and can be used alongside the existing services.


vulnerable children; early childhood; home-visiting; transdisciplinary; guidelines.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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