The Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH) program is a structured program of sustained nurse home visiting for families at risk of poorer maternal and child health and development outcomes. It was developed as an effective intervention for vulnerable and at-risk mothers living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage.

The MECSH program draws together the best available evidence on the importance of the early years, children’s health and development, the types of support parents need, parent-infant interaction and holistic, ecological approaches to supporting families to establish the foundations of a positive life trajectory for their children. The MECSH program requires organisations, and practitioners to work differently with families, to truly act on the rhetoric of prevention and early intervention to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable families.

The MECSH program is delivered as part of a comprehensive, integrated approach to services for young children and their families. The program is delivered by child and family health nurses who are embedded within universal child and family health nursing services. The program is managed by universal child and family nursing services and embedded within the broader child and family health services system.

The MECSH program uses a tiered service model, which encompasses the primary health care and more specialised services that families may need.

The MECSH four tier strategic framework

To find out if the MECSH program is suitable for your organisation, consult the MECSH system requirements.