Our Latest Report: Foundations for Life

Foundations for Life: What Works to Support Parent-Child Interaction in the Early Years?

On Monday 11 July, we launched our latest What Works report, a major piece of work assessing the evidence behind 75 interventions available to UK commissioners that are designed to support parent-child interaction from conception to age five. This report marks the first time that EIF have used their own robust methods for rating the evidence and costs of early intervention programmes.

  • 17 of the programmes looked at were found to be well-evidenced, with a further 18 found to have preliminary evidence of impact. 
  • The overall evidence base for programmes available in the UK is not yet mature. However there is a range of well-evidenced and promising interventions that, if carefully commissioned, are likely to be effective in tackling problems identified in the early years.
  • Programmes that are targeted based on early signals of risk such as behaviour problems, insecure attachment, delayed development of speech and lack of maternal sensitivity, tend to have the strongest evidence. This is not to say that universal programmes are ineffective but the evidence in general was not as strong for these. Universal services remain vital to support families and children as a whole and as a means to identify risk and target support on those who need it most.  
To read more, including testimonials from providers and developers of assessed interventions, evidence and cost-benefit ratings for individual programmes and guidance for commissioners, visit our website.


Early Years, Parenting & Family Relationships Conference - 12 July 2016

On Tuesday 12 July, over 100 representatives of over 50 UK councils gathered in Birmingham to hear about EIF's latest evidence around the importance of high-quality relationships and parenting during the earliest years of a child's life. 

The event was opened by Birmingham City Council's Chief Executive Mark Rogers and our own Chief Executive Carey Oppenheim. We were then delighted to welcome Minister for Public Health Jane Ellison MP to deliver the keynote speech. The Minister reaffirmed the new Government's commitment to the life chances agenda and spoke of the crucial importance of prevention in the area of public health.

Public Health England (PHE)'s Alison Burton opened our afternoon session with a comprehensive look at their early years offer, and presentations from EIF on the evidence and our future plans for dissemination and implementation followed. Small workshops were held covering more specific topics including perinatal mental health, PHE's Healthy Child Programme and applying evidence to practice in the UK's children's centres.

Thank you to PHE for supporting the conference and to all speakers and attendees for making this such a successful event. Further details including presentation slides are available on our website here. 

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