Contextually sensitive home-visiting programs can foster positive parenting and enhance child development and learning especially among vulnerable families exposed to armed conflict, forced displacement, and poverty. Developed based on ecological model and family resilience theories, the Home-Based Early Childhood Education (HECE) program provided an 11-week home-visiting intervention to Syrian refugee and local Turkish mothers in impoverished host communities of Turkey. The program was implemented in 3566 households with the same number of mothers and 4103 children, and aimed to promote children’s early development and education by strengthening parenting practices and teacher roles of mothers. This interpretative phenomenological study explored mothers’ lived experiences regarding changes in their children, themselves, and overall family as a result of their program participation. 30 refugee and 20 local mothers were interviewed by drawing upon ecocultural family interview. Interpretative hermeneutic analyses identified four superordinate domains that improved throughout the program: (1) Early development and learning, (2) mother–child interaction, (3) family cohesion and social network, (4) mother empowerment. Within each domain, a variety of positive changes were documented. Intervention content and home visitor characteristics were the two important elements that propelled the changes. Consistent with ecological and resilience perspectives, the positive changes that occurred in each domain cumulatively enhanced home microsystem quality and promoted family well-being. Overall, the HECE program served an effective home-visiting intervention strategy in strengthening parenting capacity and fostering child development by enabling a quality early education and learning environment at home. Results have translational implications to guide child and family interventions for vulnerable populations.

DOI: 10.1007/s10826-021-02197-7
ISSN: 1062-1024