Families Connect

Supporting parents and children to learn together

Increasing parents’ skills and confidence to support their child’s learning.

Creating a learning environment at home

In the UK, children from lower income families are 50% less likely to do as well at school as their wealthier classmates.

Only a small fraction of children’s learning takes place at school, so the better the home environment, the better the child’s learning can be.

That’s why we’ve developed Families Connect.

Contact us to register your interest in Families Connect.

How Families Connect works

Families Connect focuses on supporting parents and children to learn together.

It helps parents to support their children’s learning in three key areas:

  • Literacy and language development
  • Numeracy
  • Emotional development

The eight-week programme provides a series of activities, techniques and games that parents and carers can do with their children at home.

Each activity encourages parents and children to spend quality time together by talking about specific topics and reflecting on what they already do to support their children’s learning.

Parents also discuss the science behind the programme’s activities. These informal workshops invite parents to explore new games and approaches that might help them to support their child’s learning at home.


The impact

We evaluate Families Connect using a variety of methods, including questionnaires from the families who take part. These questionnaires help us to find out how well the programme is working and whether it helps children and families. We also have to report on overall impact to the organisations and individuals who fund the programme, which is free for schools and families thanks to their support. You can find out more about how we protect this data and what we do with it in the Families Connect Privacy Notice.

The latest evaluation of Families Connect took place in schools across the UK and involved 274 families who participated in the programme. The findings show Families Connect was successful in supporting children’s learning and increasing engagement between parents and schools.

It also showed increases in self-esteem and confidence amongst parents, who demonstrated a stronger understanding of their child’s development and expressed overwhelming enjoyment of the programme.

We are currently running a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of Families Connect, in partnership with the Nuffield Foundation, Queen's University Belfast and the National Foundation for Educational Research. The findings will be published in the spring of 2020, and the details are available in the RCT protocol.


Adapting Families Connect for 3-year-olds pilot - an interim evaluation report

Families Connect Summer Evaluation 2016

Families Connect Autumn Evaluation 2016 


The programme in action

Nadine and her son Regan, 4, take part in a Families Connect session at their school in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Nadine and her son Regan, 4, take part in a Families Connect session at their school in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Nadine took part in Families Connect with her son, Regan.

She says: “Regan has speech problems, so when we talked about books and things like that it really helped him along with his speech.

"Now he’s interacting with other things, counting, reading books or playing with other toys he’s hardly looked at before.”

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We are always looking for schools and local authorities to help us to bring Families Connect to more communities.

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