PEAL Makes An Impact
There is overwhelming evidence that when practitioners support the early home learning environment and communicate with parents regularly about children's learning and development, children do better cognitively and socially. This is why the EYFS stresses working with parents as partners, birth to 5.
PEAL supports settings and services to implement the EYFS and to work more effectively with all parents. A third of local authorities in England have commissioned PEAL and we have evaluation evidence about the impact on settings, parents and children.
Three evaluations using randomised samples and a mix of questionnaires and intensive interviews have been conducted by the NCB research department since 2007.
Overall findings show that:
Practitioners have started to:
• be more welcoming
• talk more to parents - and focus talk more on learning
• include parents' observations on records
• work harder to involve fathers
• implement new projects - e.g. story bags, treasure boxes, sharing observations, home visits
• do more to include all parents - offering more options and variety
• increased understanding of how parents benefit children's learning
• given insight into parents' needs, strengths and abilities
• given motivation and confidence to involve parents and build relationships
• made links to EYFS commitments clear
• developed more skill in how to approach and engage parents
• talking more readily and more often, showing more confidence and coming into settings
• doing more at home - e.g. reading stories, taking play equipment home
• more in touch with what happens in settings
• recording what they notice about their children
Practitioners have a real commitment to continue, as they can see the changes in both parents and children. There are examples of individual children's stories - where working more closely with parents has improved child development and behaviour directly.
If you have any feedback or comments - either on the training or the website - please contact us.