The Education Endowment Foundation has announced that organisations in the north of England have until the 27th July 2018 to apply to a new £5 million Early Years Home Learning Environment fund to trial projects that support parents improve their children’s early language and literacy skills at home before they start school.
The Foundation will fund different projects that provide practical tools and advice to parents, so they can help their children learn new words through simple steps like reading and singing nursery rhymes. The new fund aims to build the confidence of parents to support their children in language and reading at an early stage. This has been shown to help close the so-called ‘word gap’ – the gap in communication skills between disadvantaged children and their peers when they start school.
The Foundation is interested in proposals that will:
- Support improvements in the early home learning environment for children up to the age of 5, in the north of England;
- Through changes to the home environment, improve children’s outcomes in one or more of the following areas: language; literacy; early numeracy; social and emotional development and/or self-regulation;
- Narrow the development gap/’word gap’ between socio-economically disadvantaged pupils and their peers at (or before) age 5;