Early Years Toolkit – Supporting Children’s Development

Research is out to show that if a parent reads to their child then this can have a dramatic and life long impact. If you imagine that around five months of development can be achieved through specific and identified parent interventions.

We understand that this could be more dramatic than attending more time at nursery.

It is the Education Endowment Foundation that has created this new Tool Kit to assess effectiveness of using a variety of different learning strategies through research.

Cost and Effectiveness are always being balanced in education

The Foundation has developed guidance on how Early Years Professionals to use the resources to aid improvement in learning for disadvantaged children, and the tool kit led by Professor Steve Higgins has been produced along with academics from the School of Education at Durham University.
Forest Schools Education bases its developmental ethos on enabling children to develop self awareness and self regulatory strategies, thus enabling them to understand the town behaviours and learning. The foundation found that these strategies had a very positive impact on disadvantaged children, as well as those from more socially economically sound backgrounds.

We know that the understanding and practice of self regulation leads to self motivation and as such has a lasting effect on learning at school, resilience and the ability to persist during life long learning because of a change and development in positive social behaviours.
So many wonderful things to make with mud
So many wonderful things to make with mud
The researchers suggest that this self regulation can in some children lead to an average of seven extra months of progress.

The report says, ‘It is not possible to tell from existing evidence whether providing extra hours (at nursery) is a more promising strategy for three-year-olds or four-year-olds.’ However, where the integral ethos to the nursery as it is at the Forest School Nursery, is to promote these aspects then it could have a positive benefit

Research has been formulated from 1,600 studies and the toolkit addresses the following topics

  • Communication and language,
  • Earlier starting age in early years education,
  • Early literacy,
  • Early numeracy,
  • Digital technology,
  • Extra hours,
  • Parental engagement,
  • Physical development,
  • Physical environment,
  • Play-based learning, and
  • Self-regulation strategies.

The new resource was launched by Dr Collins at 4 Children’s Early Years Matters conference in London this month.

Steve Higgins, Professor of Education at Durham University, acknowledges that evidence is now available to enable early years professionals to make important decisions around their every day planning and strategy. He is hopeful that the Early Years Toolkit helps to bridge the divide between research and practice and will enhance a more effective early years provision for all children.

The Early Years Toolkit can be found here