An innovative new app which aims to raise the attainment of disadvantaged 2 – 5 year olds by offering parents a bank of games to play with their child will be developed as part of a new £1m parental engagement fund from the Sutton Trust and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, it was announced today.
By sending parents ideas of games to play each week as well as a providing a virtual support network and SMS service, the app will utilise new technologies to reach parents and help them support their child’s learning and development.
EasyPeasy is one of six projects to have won long-term backing through the new fund. The charities’ investment will support the growth, increased effectiveness and impact measurement of the initiatives, all of which are designed to boost learning for disadvantaged 2 – 6 year olds.
Previous research by the Sutton Trust found there to be a 19 month gap in school readiness between the richest and the poorest children at age 5. At the same time a new Early Years Toolkit from the Education Endowment Foundation has shown that effective parental engagement can boost learning for disadvantaged children.
Recognising that involving parents in their children’s learning is one of the most effective ways to increase outcomes, this £1m fund represents a significant investment in reducing the early years attainment gap.
Currently, the government funds 15 hours of early years education and care for 40% of the most economically disadvantaged two-year olds, identifying high-quality early years education as a contributing factor to later academic success. One of the projects supported by the fund, Peep into Pre-school, will address the low take-up of the offer through home visits and events. Through outreach and an offer of ongoing support, they will ensure that the most vulnerable parents take up the offer and support their children to get the most out of a high-quality early years education.
The additional four projects supported by the £1m fund are:
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“We know that the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest pupils begins before they’ve even started school. Tackling this disparity early on is critical to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and improving social mobility. We will support these six promising interventions to develop their delivery and increase their impact.”
Caroline Mason, Chief Executive of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation said:
“Parental involvement is key to successful outcomes for children. Parents worry for and care very much about the future of their children wherever they come from or whatever their circumstances. The Parental Engagement Fund is targeted at providing parenting support and tools to reduce the attainment gap between the richest and poorest families in the UK. This is central to our mission as a Foundation and we are delighted to be supporting these exciting organisations.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
|Peep into Pre-school||Peeple||Oxford|
|REAL||Early Childhood Unit (part of the National Children’s Bureau)||Sheffield / Oldham|
|Stories for You and Yours||The Reader Organisation||Sefton, Merseyside|
|Grow our Own||Howgill Family Centre||Cumbria|
|Engaging Parents Effectively||Parental Engagement Network (PEN)||Greater Manchester, North & South Wales, Hull, Birmingham, Surrey and Devon|