To build on the emerging evidence base from our internal evaluations, Save the Children sought funding from the Nuffield Foundation to partner with NFER and Queens University Belfast to undertake an independent randomised controlled trial and implementation evaluation of Families Connect.
This was designed to build on previous promising findings, to strengthen our understanding of the programme’s impact on parent and child outcomes and identify where the programme could be strengthened and improved, along with continual delivery feedback and review.
Our aim was to advance our collective understanding, as a sector, of how best to support parental engagement and children’s early learning.
Thirty-one schools from disadvantaged areas across the UK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) delivered Families Connect as part of the independent evaluation. A total of 499 children aged four to six from 483 families took part.
The evaluation found that Families Connect increases parental engagement in children’s learning, improves parental skills, and improves aspects of children's social and emotional development.
We have produced a briefing document to accompany the full report, which provides an overview of the evaluation findings and sets out our approach for developing Families Connect and priorities for future research, policy and practice.
You can view the full report and the executive summary.
Lord, P., Rennie, C., Smith, R., Gildea, A., Tang, S., Miani, G., Styles, B. and Bradley, C. (2020). Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluation of Families Connect. NFER, Slough.
Save the Children would like to thank the Nuffield Foundation and all those who conducted the evaluation and compiled the report at NFER and Queen’s University Belfast.
The project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit www.nuffieldfoundation.org.