A mother reading to her kids.

Parents as First Teachers Evaluation

Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) is a low-intensity home visitation programme for parents with children pre-birth through to three years of age. In New Zealand, it is targeted to families facing particular challenges to their parenting.

In March 2009 CSRE undertook a rapid review of the PAFT programme. We noted that New Zealand evidence for the effectiveness of PAFT was dated and recommended a robust process and outcomes evaluation to fill this information gap. CSRE has completed this evaluation. We reported on Phase One of the evaluation in October 2010. Phase Two was completed in October 2011. The evaluation report and research snapshot provide key findings across both phases of the evaluation.

  • Overall PAFT retention rates are similar to other home visitation programmes
  • Families on higher incomes, nuclear families and families with older mothers are better engaged with PAFT on average, than other families.
  • PAFT was associated with better child health and development outcomes for children from nuclear families at age four in the B4School Checks. Nuclear families tended to have higher incomes and older mothers than other family structures (that is, single parents living alone or with extended family).
  • Families reported improvements in their knowledge of child development and parenting strategies, parenting ability and confidence. This was true for all types of families, with little variation between sub-groups.
  • Staff retention and quality were important to strong child outcomes.
  • PAFT addresses some of the risk factors associated with child maltreatment. PAFT children were no more likely to have a finding of child maltreatment than children in the general population.
  • To better meet criteria associated with child maltreatment, PAFT would need to be more intensively and flexibly delivered and perhaps augmented by a case-management approach for dealing with more serious family concerns.
A mother reading to her kids.


The following documents are available for download:

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