Home Learning Environment fund: Nursery World interview with Sir Kevan Collins

The EEF recently announced the opening of a new £5 million funding round - funded by the Department for Education - to trial projects that support parents to help improve their children’s early language and literacy skills at home before they start school.

Nursery World has interviewed our chief executive Sir Kevan Collins to find out more - excerpts below:

Big Picture Theme: Early Years

Big Picture Theme: Early Years

Evidence on supporting children's early learning and development from the Early Years Toolkit alongside findings from recent EEF projects.

What is the aim of the trial?

We know that children from poorer homes are already behind their better-off classmates when they start school. We also know that the quality of the home learning environment and parental engagement are key predictors of whether a child is likely to succeed at school and in life. So, the fund is aimed at finding out how we can best help mums, dads and other carers – particularly those from the hardest-to-reach backgrounds – to support their children’s education and to narrow those stubborn gaps in language development and other areas.

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What will the activities involve and where will they take place? Will it be in a nursery, children’s centre or parents’ homes?

The focus of the fund is to find out how to support parents to [aid] their children’s education, particularly in language and reading, at home.

The programmes we trial could be run out of nurseries or schools, or they could be run by local charities or children’s centres. The activities could be focused on supporting parents by utilising digital technology, or they could involve face-to-face sessions. We are interested in the most promising ideas, wherever they come from.

You can read the full Nursery World interview here.

You can find out more about our Home Learning Environment fund here.