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Parent engagement ‘boosts children’

Are you actively involved in your child’s education?

According to new research, mums and dads that are, can actually boost a youngster’s progress by almost half a year.

The report published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), says parents who encourage their children to read and talk together at home, will see their child progress more than their peers.

The EEF’s new Early Years Toolkit analyses evidence on methods of raising achievement among young children.

It looks to help nurseries and pre-schools improve the learning of poor three and four-year-olds.

The toolkit said: “Parental engagement in early years education is consistently associated with children’s academic success.”

The authors also claim it is likely to have an impact on their later academic success.

EEF chief executive Dr Kevan Collins said: “We hope that the Early Years Toolkit can be a starting point for evidence-informed decision-making in the early years.

“It doesn’t attempt to tell people what to do.

“It summarises research from England and around the world to provide information about the cost, evidence strength and average impact about a wide variety of approaches.”

The Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, carried out a recent study and found that the poorest youngsters can be up to 19 months behind their wealthiest classmates when they start school at age five.

The latest findings show that on average, youngsters whose parents are involved in their learning make around five months extra progress over the course of a year.

Schemes to encourage parents could include them taking part in activities with their child at nursery or offering classes in parenting skills.

Steve Higgins, professor of education at Durham University, said: “We hope that the Early Years Toolkit helps bridge the divide between research and practice and leads to more effective early years provision for all children.”

As a parent, it is natural to wonder how your child is doing at school and whether they are making the right progress for their age.

Other schemes that boost a young child’s progress include “self-regulation” – their ability to manage their own behaviour or learning.

In the early years, this could include encouraging youngsters to improve their self-control.

Experts say this type of strategy can boost a pre-schooler’s progress by around seven months.

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