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Home-Based Early Childhood Education FAQs

I have two children under age 5 at home. Will both participate during the home visits?
Yes, even though it is usually only one child who is the ‘designated’ participating child. Ours is a “family program”, and everyone in the family is invited to be part of the visit, provided that they actively participate in the activities.

What happens if the scheduled visit falls on a holiday or a “snow day”?
On any day that the Cambridge Public Schools are closed, home visits should not be expected.

Will the home visitor come even if my child is sick?
No, home visitors will not visit if the child or parent is sick. Neither will benefit much from the home visit if she or he is sick. During the intake visit, we provide more detailed information on our “sickness policy”.

What happens if the Home Visitor and I do not speak the same language?
You and the home visitor will give it your best effort to understand each other and to communicate with each other and the child. Our home visitors have a lot of experience working with families whose home language is a language other than English. In addition, several of our Home Visitors and our Program Coordinator are fully bilingual.

I would like to offer my Home Visitor something to eat and drink, but I have heard that you have a “no food” policy. Why is that?
Visits are only one hour long and we want to make the best use of that time for the benefit of the child and parent.

As a parent, will I be heard during the home visits?
Absolutely! Parental input is a vital ingredient for a successful home visit. Our premise is that you are the child’s first teacher, and to serve you and your child best, we need your full participation. In addition to your input during each visit, we ask you to fill out feedback questionnaires and we strive to incorporate your ideas whenever feasible to enhance our program.

Will all visits take place in my home?
Most visits will, but we encourage visits outdoors as well, depending on the theme of the visit and the time of year. A family and their Home Visitor usually schedule an outdoor visit in advance so that preparing to go outdoors does not take up much visit time. Outdoor visits are part of the curriculum, they are not additional visits.

Other policies regarding possible alternative visit locations will be discussed during the intake visit.

Do you visit year-round?
No. We follow the Cambridge Public Schools schedule, since we are a CPS program.

My child is in pre-school and I am a full-time working single mother. There is no time during the day for visits, but I still want to participate in your program. What do you suggest?
We usually find a way to accommodate even the most difficult schedules. Visits might take place in the early mornings, in the late afternoons/ early evenings or even on a Saturday, depending on individual Home Visitors’ schedules.

Is there a program fee and/or do I have to pay for books and materials?
No, the program is offered by the Cambridge Public Schools and it is absolutely free. Most of the books and other materials used during visits become the property of the family so that they can be used over and over between visits and beyond. We encourage parents to use the materials to engage in joyful daily reading and playing with their young children.