Author(s): McCaughey C, Mroz MA, Clark J
Abstract: The University team was asked to formally evaluate two programmes within the Leam Lane Sure Start programme – the LEEPs for 1s and Leeps for 2s programmes. The case study took place between January 2005 and May 2005, and used a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Data was generated and gathered from interviews (both formal and informal), questionnaires, group discussions, participant observation and documentary analysis. LEEPs for 1s and 2s are designed to benefit both parents (or carers) and children, and is a rolling programme of sessions based on the national PEEP programme, which: • offers ideas and activities to support children's learning in everyday situations • is a combination of different activities e.g. stories, songs and craft activities, to be used by parents/ carers and children at home or as part of a group • focuses on how to make the most of everyday life – listening, talking, playing, singing, sharing books - and having fun! • is about supporting children’s self-esteem and helping children feel good about learning, and • supports parents and carers in their role as educators, as well as promoting their own learning. LEEPs for 1s and 2s have been adapted from the PEEP programme to be more area-specific to the local programme. There is no formal referral process, it is a ‘roll on’ ‘roll off’ programme which is a popular activity which a waiting list. The findings of the evaluation are positive, and are presented in this report, alongside recommendations which suggest ways of developing the LEEPs programmes further. Conclusions have been drawn and recommendations have been made, based on the findings from data analysis, which include issues such as: • a need for ongoing review and evaluation, with increased involvement of parent volunteers • suggestions for improved delivery, including reference to particular activities, and relating the sessions to objectives and learning outcomes • highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of particular venues and the impact these can have on delivery and participation • a need for explicit and clear ground rules which are re-iterated for new parents • illustrating the positive impact of a proactive and continual recruitment strategy • the many positive aspects of involving parents as volunteers in the delivery, planning and review.
Keywords: Programme Evaluation, early years, Sure Start, LEEPs, PEEPs, language development