Peep Learning Together Programme
The Peep Learning Together Programme (LTP) is a parent education programme developed by the charity Peeple.
The version of the programme evaluated in this trial, Peep-LTS, aims to improve parenting skills and the quality of the home learning environment in the early years (ages 3 to 4). This involves an initial home visit, then 20 weekly one-hour sessions held in the nursery setting, delivered by nursery practitioners and attended by parents and their child. The course evaluated in this trial focused on two topics: communication and language; and early literacy.
Sessions provide parents with background information about how children learn, as well as practical ideas and activities to help build on what they are already doing at home, in order to make the most of everyday learning opportunities, including listening, talking, playing, singing and sharing books and stories.
Queen's University Belfast
Language and literacy
Research shows that the quality of learning opportunities within the home learning environment is a predictor of positive academic and social outcomes, with parental involvement in their child’s learning a key factor that contributes towards development.
Previous research on Peep LTP has examined the extent to which the programme can effectively reach target parents, raise parental awareness of how to foster child development, and demonstrate a positive and lasting impact on children’s achievements in both literacy and wellbeing domains, particularly self-esteem. Our evaluation is the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of the programme in improving language and literacy in the early years, as well as exploring its impact on the home learning environment and parental skills.
Our trial of the Peep-LTS Programme involved 1,447 families across 139 nursery settings. The independent evaluation found that pupils in the Peep-LTS made, on average, no additional progress in core language skills (the primary outcome), compared to children in the usual practice control group. These results have a moderate-to-high security rating: 3 out of 5 on the EEF padlock scale.
The evaluation did find that the programme had a positive effect on children’s early literacy development. Following the programme, parents also reported small improvements in the home learning environment and their confidence in enjoying and playing with their child, and moderate improvements in self-acceptance and confidence in their own parenting knowledge and learning.
The EEF has no plans for a further trial of the Peep-LTS Programme.
Pupils in the Peep-LTS Programme made, on average, no additional progress in core language skills (the primary outcome) in comparison to those in the control group, equivalent to zero months. This finding has a moderate to high security rating.
The analysis of the secondary outcomes showed a positive effect of the intervention on early literacy development. Pupils in the intervention group made, on average, two months’ additional progress compared to those in the control group. This finding is less secure than the estimate for the primary outcome.
Parents reported small improvements in the home learning environment and their confidence in enjoying and playing with their child, following the Programme. There were moderate improvements reported in parental self-acceptance and parents’ confidence in their own parenting knowledge and learning.
Nursery settings, supported by mentors, delivered the Programme with high fidelity. Engaging parents was a key challenge for settings: 23% of parents who signed up to the intervention did not attend a single session (parents who did attend the Programme joined, on average, 70% of sessions).
Although more than 90% of practitioners reported that the Peep-LTS Programme was easy to use and implement, practitioners also felt that the length of the Programme—20 weekly sessions—may have been a barrier to commitment for parents.
Full project description
The Peep Learning Together Programme, developed by Peeple, aimed to improve parenting skills and the quality of the home learning environment in the early years (nursery pupils of three to four years old) to promote positive long-term academic and social change for children and their parents.
The version of the Programme evaluated by this study (Peep-LTS) consisted of an initial home visit, then 20 weekly one-hour sessions held in the nursery setting, delivered by nursery practitioners and attended by parents and their child. The sessions provided parents with background information about how children learn and practical ideas and activities to help parents build on what they were already doing at home to make the most of everyday learning opportunities including listening, talking, playing, singing, and sharing books and stories.
The Programme was evaluated via a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess effectiveness in improving language and literacy in the early years and explore the impact on the home learning environment and parental skills. The research team undertook semi-structured interviews with practitioners and parents in intervention settings; a usual-practice survey was administered to all settings at the beginning of the trial and to control settings at the end, and an implementation survey was administered to all intervention settings during the trial.
The evaluation project operated between January 2017 and December 2018, with the trial intervention period starting in January 2018 and ending in July 2018. In total, the evaluation involved 1,447 families across 139 nursery settings: approximately ten children and parents per setting.
This report is published without the deprivation and subgroup analysis due to delays in accessing the relevant data from the National Pupil Database; this analysis will be reported at a later date as an addendum to the current report.