Research and evidence shows that what parents do with their children at home has a significant effect on wellbeing and achievement. Helping parents to use the home as a natural educational environment and empowering them with knowledge and confidence can make a big difference. Studies show that early home involvement has a significant impact on narrowing the gap.
This is critical as children in the bottom 20% of attainment at age 5 are six times more likely to be in the bottom 20% at Key Stage 1. Advances in neuroscience indicate that key factors in promoting children’s health and development during the foundation years and improving their readiness for school are ‘the things that parents and carers do with children at home, like talking to, reading to, and playing with them.’ (Supporting Families in the Foundation Years: DfE).
Since its creation, Starting Out has been widely implemented in Children’s Centres, Early Years settings (nurseries, pre-schools and childminders) and Schools in the Borough of Poole and has also been used in a number of establishments elsewhere. Feedback from both parents and practitioners has been very positive and parents who have engaged with Starting Out report increased confidence and understanding of brain development and an increase in time spent doing quality, low/no-cost activities with their child.