KIPS TIPS Nov 2011: Watch for New Sister KIPSter Programs in Your State!

The KIPSterhood is about to undergo a significant increase in membership!  Federal MIECHV funds support new home visiting programs with families in targeted at-risk communities in your State.   Want to learn more?  Keep Reading . . .


States Choose KIPS to Document Outcomes for

Federally Funded Home Visiting Programs

 What Is the US Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program?

The federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant Program (MIECHV) supports voluntary home visits with families in targeted at-risk communities to improve maternal and child health, child development, school readiness, economic self-sufficiency, and child abuse prevention. In FY2010, formula grant awards totaling $124 million were awarded to 49 states. Click MIECHV Program for more information. 

Under MIECHV funding, States are required to evaluate the impact of the home visiting programs on families.  KIPS is one of the measures recommended in the Evidence-Based Model Crosswalk to BenchmarksAt least 8 States have selected KIPS to document parenting outcomes for their MIECHV grants, and many are still in the planning stage.

How to Use KIPS to Document Parenting Outcomes 

MIECHV State Leaders are asking how KIPS scores can be used to document parenting outcomes for the US home visiting benchmarks and constructs most relevant to parenting:  

1) Parent support for learning and development;

2) Parent knowledge of child development and their  progress;

3) Parenting behaviors and the parent-child relationship. 

The KIPS parenting assessment mean score speaks to each of these constructs.  Factor analysis showed that the 12 KIPS items comprise one scale, with no subscales for valid use in evaluation.  (The KIPS mean score is the average of the items rated on 1 to 5 scales, excluding the items scored NOB.) The KIPS mean score indicates the quality of parenting, which includes supporting learning and development, understanding their child's developmental and behavioral needs, and responding appropriately in relation to the child's needs. 

Other than program evaluation, we do encourage reflection on specific item scores in planning services and tracking individual parenting progress based on each parent's strengths and areas for growth. 

To make sense of the changes in scores for program evaluation, KIPS behavior descriptions support interpreting scores as follows:

  • Low quality - KIPS mean less than 3.0 (indicating parenting concerns)

  • Moderate quality - KIPS mean 3.1 - 3.9

  • High quality - KIPS mean 4.0 or greater.

To track progress of the families in your program, you can show the percentage of parents who shift from initially low or moderate quality scores to higher quality parenting behaviors (see example on p.1, KIPS Validation Studies).

Also, those who begin with high quality scores can be tracked to see if they maintain those high scores with parenting support. If used in this way, KIPS scores can demonstrate the impact of your program for parents who start at different points on the parenting quality continuum.

Is your State MIECHV Program planning to use the

KIPS parenting assessment?

Reach out to welcome new KIPSters to the  community. 

Share the benefit of your experience! 


Help Build the KIPSter Community! 

 We have a new page on the Comfort Consults website that lists Publications and Reports using KIPS.  We'd like to add

your program's information to this collection, so others in the KIPS Community can learn from you. We also are eager to support programs in presenting their experience with KIPS at conferences or in publications. If interested in either of these opportunities, please contact


Are you going to Washington D.C. for Zero to Three's NTI December 9-11? Keep your eyes open for Phil and Marilee. We'd love to meet with you!  Write to set up time to chat,

Where Can I Find KIPS Online Training and Supports?

The online training and support systems use three separate web addresses.It's a good idea to bookmark each in your browser, so you can get to them when you need them.Here are the links:

Forgot your password? On each login page click on HELP! I forgot my password. Type in your username, (usually your email address), and the program automatically sends you an email with your username and password.

Subscriptions can be ordered at

Credit Cards now accepted! Submit order online, then call to process card information securely.




Let's stay in touch,

Marilee Comfort & Phil Gordon


KIPS Parenting Assessment

Comfort Consults - The KIPS People

  POB 82, Cheyney, PA 19319