MECSH History

Originally titled the Miller Early Childhood Sustained Home visiting program, MECSH was a program of intervention and research conducted in the Miller/Green Valley (postcode 2168) area of south western Sydney, NSW, Australia.

The MECSH intervention and trial were funded by the Australian Research Council (LP0560285), Sydney South West Area Health Service, NSW Department of Community Services and NSW Department of Health. It was the first Australian randomised trial to determine the impact of a comprehensive sustained nurse home visiting program commencing antenatally in a population group living in an area of known disadvantage.

The MECSH program applies an ecological framework, recognising that the health, development, and wellbeing of children is the product of complex interacting factors at the individual, family and community level.

International uptake of MECSH in the UK began in January 2013, when the program started in service areas within Essex and Plymouth. Over the next decade, more localities within the UK and Channel Islands began implementing the program within their service areas.


MECSH in the USA started in Vermont in August 2015 and the program was implemented statewide in October 2018. Minnesota Department of Health began implementing MECSH in March 2020 and Wyoming Department of Health began implementation of the MECSH-based Hand in Hand program in January 2021.


MECSH implementation in South Korea began in Seoul in October 2013.

Within Australia, there are MECSH-based programs in select service areas within NSW, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Drawing by a child of the MECSH Intervention Trial aged 4 years

Drawing by a child of the MECSH Trial aged 4 years