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General overview

Stage of development: Implementation

Policy sector: Education

Date outcomes contract signed: Apr 2019

Start date of service provision: Jun 2019

Anticipated completion date: Sep 2025

Capital raised (minimum): GBP 100k (USD 127.62k)

Max potential outcome payment: GBP 1.11m

Service users: 198 individuals

Intervention

Narrow the gap in school readiness between vulnerable children and their better off peers through a Parent Child Home Programme.

Target population

Families with a child aged 2-3 in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster who do not meet age related goals on speech and language, and social-personal skills assessed by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire during the national 2-year old checks.

Location

Country

  • United Kingdom

Service delivery locations

  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (London)
  • Westminster City Council (London)

Involved organisations

Configuration of contracting parties:

  • Direct contract between outcome payer and provider

Commissioners/outcome payers

Service Providers

Investors

Intermediary organisations

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Outcome metrics

  • Metric 1: Beneficiaries initially engage with the programme.
  • Metric 2: Beneficiaries complete the first cycle of the programme.
  • Metric 3: Speech and language skills at ASQ level for children within 16 months of starting the project.
  • Metric 4: Social-personal skills at ASQ level for children within 16 months of starting the project.
  • Metric 5: Parental self efficacy increased by 5% over 15 months of the project compared to baseline assessment.
  • Metric 6: Beneficiaries complete the second cycle of the programme.
  • Metric 7: Speech and language skills at EYFS level for children within 39 months of starting the project.
  • Metric 8: Social-personal-emotional skills at EYFS level for children within 39 months of starting the project.

Results

ParentChild+ started delivering services in June 2019 and will finish in September 2025. Data was last updated in June 2023. These are interim results.

Outcome achievements

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The project commissioner interpretation of this graph:

'Metric 1: Beneficiaries initially engage with the programme. 214 starters out of the 198 target (we had an additional cohort of 48 added to the initial target of 150 as a result of the LCF extension funding). We also had additional starters on top of the 198 target to factor in expected attrition rates.

Metric 2: Beneficiaries complete the first cycle of the programme. 150 completed half of the programme, also known as first cycle/mid-point. 

Metric 3: Speech and language skills at ASQ level for children within 16 months of starting the project. 116 achieved, though we used another tool of measurement for children with special educational needs as the project evolved. We used a Child Behavioural Trait tool at beginning, mid and end of programme to demonstrate the outcomes for these children. 

Metric 4: Social-personal skills at ASQ level for children within 16 months of starting the project. 115 achieved, though we used another tool of measurement for children with special educational needs as the project evolved. We used a Child Behavioural Trait tool at beginning, mid and end of programme to demonstrate the outcomes for these children. 

Metric 5: Parental self-efficacy increased by 5% over 15 months of the project compared to baseline assessment. 71 achieved. This metric had some challenges that required resolution during the programme. They were primarily covid-related and missing responses. The other challenge was parental understanding of the set of questions in this metric. 

Metric 6: Beneficiaries complete the second cycle of the programme. 146 completed the programme. Around 64 disengaged at various points of the programme. Disengagement was an expected risk factor and was factored into our projections. 

Metric 7: Speech and language skills at EYFS level for children within 39 months of starting the project. We have yet to receive sufficient responses for this metric, all results due in 2025.

Metric 8: Social-personal-emotional skills at EYFS level for children within 39 months of starting the project. We have yet to receive sufficient responses for this metric, all results due in 2025.

Speech and language and school readiness are key priority areas within the Bi-borough. Evidence shows that language outcomes in the early years is one of the best predictors of a child being able to ‘buck the trend’ in terms of poorer long term life outcomes and escaping poverty in later adult life associated with social deprivation. Research suggests that early intervention can prevent children from a widening gap of attainment later in life. Subsequently, the metrics were designed around indicators of improvements in communication, social-personal-emotional development and parenting self-efficacy.

However, some metrics faced significant challenges during Covid where baseline questionnaires collected from starter parents were lost, most likely due to potential issues during this period. An average baseline was used to measure against the end of programme returns for these families. There were also challenges in were observed in measuring “Parent self-efficacy” for parents with ESL (English as a second language) and provider staff needed to assist with completion. Covid and cost of living crisis may also have impacted improvement levels. While evaluating results from ASQs (Ages and stages questionnaire), children with SEN (Special educational needs) were assessed using a different tool called CBT (Child Behavioural Traits) and assessments were carried out by the provider.

It is also acknowledged that completion of ASQs is an area of continuous improvement within the Bi-Borough and therefore adding an additional cohort for repeat ASQs increased the demand. This can be avoided by training other staff members/partners to undertake this activity. There have been delays with ASQ assessment due to Health Visitor workloads and children moving out of borough. An alternative measurement, CBT, has been used to assess both SEN children and children that moved out of borough during/after the programme. This is because they fell outside of the catchment area of our health visiting service.

The broader metrics are still key priorities within the Bi-Borough (and nationally) but assessments/measures that were used to determine the success need reconsideration. Early Years is a challenging area in general to measure outcomes and progress and so demands for bespoke assessments or using existing assessments that are tried and tested but not undertaken routinely/widely (particularly for children with additional needs).'

Outcome payments

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The project commissioner interpretation of this graph:

Payments between April 2020 – March 2021 were made based on a Medium Scenario payment profile due to the impact of covid to the delivery model (face to face to virtual delivery) and risk of potential impact to outcomes that was outside of the control of the service provider. This was to ensure the service could be sustained when this programme was needed most by the cohort.Ongoing impact from the initial and subsequent covid lockdowns and restrictions created a knock-on effect to the payment timeline.

Factors impacting outcome delays are covered in the “Outcome Achievements” narrative and include:

  • Delays in ASQ assessment completion.
  • Higher numbers of SEN children than anticipated.
  • Resolving the issue of missing parental self-efficacy returns.
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