Social action is ideally placed to play an instrumental role in helping more parents and carers support young children to achieve developmental milestones.
Parents and primary carers are first educators, and the knowledge and confidence they have to support their children’s development can make a marked impact.
The evidence shows that the quality of the home learning environment is more important for intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income. In short, what parents do at home is more important than who your parents are. These effects are long-lasting - a high-quality early home learning environment has a continued positive effect through to GCSE and overall A-level attainment.
Supporting parents is especially relevant now. Despite a positive trend over time, over 30 percent of children did not reach a good level of development at the end of the early years foundation stage according to the most recent profile results.
Parent-centered interventions are especially effective in supporting achievement of developmental goals, and our previous portfolio of work suggests that social action focusing on supporting parents is ideally placed to make an impact.
The Early Years Social Action Fund supported five organisations to help more children aged four and under achieve their developmental milestones through social action.
building the confidence and knowledge of parents and primary carers to support their children to achieve their developmental milestones ahead of their fifth birthday.
Across the fund, the five grantees scaled their ‘parent-powered’ programmes to almost 40 new areas across England. In total, over 2,500 parents and children were supported by over 1,000 volunteers and fellow parents.
A selection of impacts for each organisation were as follows:
Key programme findings are that parent-powered approaches to can enhance family support in five key ways:
- Improving a range of parent outcomes such as parental confidence & self-efficacy, and well-being; as well as child outcomes including improved language acquisition and behavioural outcomes.
- Developing vital social connections and informal support networks for parents.
- Reaching disadvantaged families that public services often struggle to, and connecting them to other services they might benefit from.
- Bringing parents’ voices and ideas so that local family support services are
More responsive, innovative, accessible and trusted.
- Preventing costs to public services through cost avoidance, as well as some models being more cost-effective.
Further outputs related to this program include:
Here are some blogs related to this programme and subject matter: