Last Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Narrowing the gap in outcomes for young children through effective practices in the early years (2010)

What is this?

A rapid review of research which summarises the best available evidence to help service providers to improve services and, ultimately, reduce educational disadvantage and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. The review includes findings related to tackling child poverty, including the importance of early years provision and the home learning environment.

Who is this for?

Teachers, practitioners and service providers who are involved in planning or supporting learning for children and young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Explore this research

How was the research carried out?

The research is based on a rapid review of the literature involving systematic searches of relevant databases and websites published from 2000 onwards. It includes quantitative evidence (e.g. analysis of key data) and qualitative evidence (e.g. views of key stakeholders).

What are the strengths of the research methodology?

Rapid reviews involve gathering relevant, high quality research from key databases and websites. This approach allows for the best available evidence to be quickly sourced and summarised to identify key findings. It can be a particularly effective approach if timescales are short.

What is the context for this research?

This research was carried out in England to support the work of the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO) Theme Advisory Group. The review was part of a series to inform the support which C4EO provides. It is important to be aware that due to differing policy and educational contexts the findings may need to be contextualised for application in Scotland.

Reflective questions

The following questions may provide a stimulus for discussion:

  • What helps children from different backgrounds to have a good experience in pre-school?
  • In your setting, what matters most for children’s outcomes? What can you do to improve these outcomes for children, young people and their families?

About the author(s)

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) carried out this review on
behalf of the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO). It was written by Misia Coghlan, Caroline Bergeron, Karen White, Caroline Sharp, Marian Morris and Rebekah Wilson.

Related research/reading

Ellis, S. and Sosu, E. (2014). Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Disclaimer

This research was not commissioned by Education Scotland and the findings, recommendations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Education Scotland.

Full reference

Coghlan, M., Bergeron, C., White, K., Sharp, C., Morris, M. and Wilson, R. (2010). Narrowing the Gap in Outcomes for Young Children Through Effective Practices in the Early Years. London: Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services.

Link(s) to full research article

Narrowing the gap in outcomes for young children through effective practices in the early years - summary report and full report for download.