The i’s Padraic Flanagan cites findings from our EasyPeasy trial evaluation.

A phone app designed for disadvantaged pre-school children has been found to improve concentration and problem-solving by toddlers, according to Oxford University experts.

They carried out a randomised controlled trial of EasyPeasy, an app that offers tips and games for parents and carers of children from two to six, to encourage play and interaction with toddlers in the home.

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Previous research commissioned by the Sutton Trust found a 19-month gap in development between the richest and poorest children by the age of five, a strong predictor of future outcomes in education, health, wealth, and wellbeing.

There is a growing body of evidence that engaged parents and a vibrant home learning environment are major influences on children’s development, yet little is known about how to better support families who struggle to provide this, says the Sutton Trust.

It claims that the latest results could form an important step towards understanding effective ways for parents to support their child’s early learning at home, and help them get ready for school.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation and of the Sutton Trust, 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.

“But it can be difficult to get parents involved in their child’s learning. Today’s results show the potential for EasyPeasy – an inexpensive app for parents and carers of two- to six-year-olds that encourages positive play and interaction with children at home – to be an effective way of improving parental engagement.”

Read the full article here.

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