A child’s life chances are heavily determined at birth. Disadvantaged children start lagging behind their better off peers before they start school. Our early years research has highlighted the main causes of this attainment gap, and the importance of developing secure attachments between parent and child, good parenting and home learning environment.
We are working in partnership with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation on a parental engagement project that develops best practice for disadvantaged children through engaging parents in their child’s learning and development.
The Parental Engagement Fund (PEF) supports five projects, all aimed at addressing inequality in children’s early attainment by supporting the development of best practice in parental engagement. Funding for the projects began in April 2015, and will continue for two years to the end of 2017.
A team of research experts from the University of Oxford are acting as ‘critical friends’ to the five projects. They are providing support throughout the two years to help each organisation develop their monitoring and evaluation strategies and identify the key elements of successful parental engagement interventions.
As the projects draw to a close, researchers from Oxford University have conducted a study on the Engaging Parents Effectively project, led by Manchester-based Parental Engagement Network. The project provided parents with fun activities and resources to support their child’s learning at home. These included finger puppets, tambourines and books. The results found that taking part in the intervention had a significant effect on the child’s home learning environment, measured by learning activities the parents reported they do at home with their children. You can find the full report here.
If you have any questions please email Laura Barbour, Early Years Lead at the Trust.
The Parental Engagement Fund is kindly funded by: