Pilot evaluation of the Early Years Toolbox [completed]

This pilot study aims to evaluate a programme which trains practitioners in the use of the Early Years Toolbox, an app designed to measure young children’s emerging cognitive, self-regulatory, language and social development. Funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the pilot aims to explore whether the programme shows evidence of promise, whether it is feasible for early years settings to deliver as part of routine practice, and whether such a programme could be implemented on a wider scale.

This pilot evaluation is being conducted in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies.

Developed by leading early years researchers, Professor Edward Melhuish (University of Oxford) and Dr Steven Howard (University of Wollongong, Australia), the Early Years Toolbox is designed to capture abilities that research has shown to be most predictive of later academic, social, emotional, cognitive and life outcomes. Early years practitioners will be trained and supported in the use of the Early Years Toolbox by Professor Ted Melhuish and Action for Children. By providing staff with information about children’s emerging abilities, the idea is that practitioners will be better placed to ensure children’s experiences in the settings are tailored to their individual development needs.

The study is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.


The evaluation report is now available here 

Blog: https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/can-app-help-spot-gap-how-technology-might-help-address-attainment-gaps-among-early-years

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