Early Childhood Care and Education collection: Evaluation of the Early Years Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative (ECCE), 2008 – 2011

Study number (SN): 0057-00

 

CITATION

Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative. (2017). Early Childhood Care and Education collection: Evaluation of the Early Years Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative (ECCE), 2008 – 2011. [data collection]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0057-00. www.issda.ie/ecce

 

ABOUT THE STUDY

The Early Years Service was a two year service for preschool children, with integrated health care, wrap-around supports and professional development elements. The programme sought to strengthen children’s positive dispositions to learning through enjoyable, challenging and enriching opportunities within the family, education and care facilities and community to enhance their well-being, identity and participation. Specifically, it sought to make pre-school children more ready for the transition to school by achieving moderate improvements in relation to the following:

  • All domains of the child’s development, including physical well-being, social and emotional development, approaches to learning, language development and emergent literacy;
  • Parent psychological health, as well as the quality of parents’ relationships with the child and their parenting skills; and
  • The child’s environment – social relations in the home, school and community, improving outcomes for the child, through a focus on the child’s family and environment.

The programme was evaluated between 2008 and 2011 by the CDI Evaluation team at the Centre for Social and Educational Research at the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Institute of Education at the University of London. The programme was evaluated using a two-pronged approach, and included (1) a quantitative assessment of the programme (this data is being archived with ISSDA) and (2) a qualitative assessment of the implementation ‘process’.

The evaluation sought to answer the following questions:

  1. To what extent did participation in the programme result in better outcomes in terms of child development (cognitive, language and social)?
  2. Did parental participation in the programme result in better outcomes (parental stress, parent estimation of child social skills and behaviour, home-learning environment)?
  3. Did service participation in the implementation of the programme result in better outcomes in terms of environmental quality (curricular, process and structural)?

 

MAIN TOPICS

  • Children
  • Early childhood
  • Education
  • Family environment
  • Health
  • Physical development
  • Emotional development
  • Economic and social development
  • Cognitive processes
  • Evaluation

 

COVERAGE, UNIVERSE, METHODOLOGY

 

Population

The analysis focused both on service-level outcomes and child-level outcomes, with the child outcomes being used to make inferences about the Early Years service. The archived collection therefore consists of three respondent groups:

  • Child assessments: Child-level data collection consisted of both one-to-one child assessments and key worker ratings of children’s social and behavioural development.
  • Parent interviews: Parents participated in a parent interview to coincide with their child’s entry to the Early Years service, which included questions on family structure, ethnicity, parental education and employment, as well as the parent-level instruments of Parental Stress Scale, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Home Learning Environment Index.
  • Service assessments: Early Years service quality assessments occurred to coincide roughly with child assessments, i.e. at the beginning of the Early Years service year, after the first year and after the second year.

The research team used the following information sources for the quantitative study: standardised child assessments taken over time; child social/behavioural profiles completed by Early Years service/primary staff and parents; parental interviews; quality rating scales. Researchers first assessed children at the beginning of Early Years service provision (baseline) when they were aged at least 2 years and 6 months. Assessments focused on children’s cognitive and language attainment on a range of standardised instrument subscales. Children were rated on their social skills at this time by their parents and their key worker. Researchers returned to assess children just before the end of their 1st year of Early Years service provision (mid-phase) and just before the 2nd year of Early Years provision. Quality assessments were carried out in the Early Years services in the same time period as child assessments in order to allow for a linking of service quality and child outcome scores. Parents were interviewed twice, once at the time that their child entered Early Years services and once after 2 years (end of Early Years service provision).

Observation units

  • Individual
  • Families / Households

Temporal coverage

From 10/2008 to 05/2011

Time dimension

Cluster randomised trial - This is an experimental method by which social units or clusters (in this case, Early Years services) are randomly allocated to intervention or control group.

Geographical coverage

Country: Rep of Ireland

Region: Leinster

County: Dublin 

Methods of data collection

  • PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): With interviewer (face to face, telephone or other)
  • PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): Self-completion (distributed by post, email or other)
  • Child-level data collection consisted of both one-to-one child assessments by trained fieldworkers and key worker ratings of children’s social and behavioural development by survey.

Sampling procedures

Early Years services in Tallaght West applied to deliver the CDI Early Years Programme through the submission of an Expression of Interest form. Applicants were informed that delivery of the programme would be subject to a randomisation process, an experimental method whereby clusters or groups (in this case, Early Years services) are randomly allocated to intervention or control groups after being matched in pairs to balance important prognostic factors (Early Years practitioner qualifications; setting capacity; staff:child ratio) at baseline. The level of inference was not simply the unit of randomisation (i.e. the Early Years service), rather analysis focused both on service-level outcomes and child-level outcomes, with the child outcomes being used to make inferences about the service. Services that were assigned to the control condition delivered their Early Years programmes as usual, but practitioners in these services were offered the opportunity to receive the same, or equal, level of training as those in intervention services once programme evaluation was complete and some received funding towards the provision of extra child spaces.

Allocation to intervention and control groups was completed by CDI rather than by the research team. Matching criteria, such as service capacity and staff qualifications, were drawn up by CDI and services were matched accordingly into pairs. An independent candidate was identified by CDI and, at an appointed time and date, the candidate was responsible for the allocation of one service from each pair to the intervention condition, meaning that the matched service automatically belonged to the control condition from then on. This randomisation process took place in the CDI offices.

 

Response rate

 

Cohort 1 (2008 – 2010)

Number of participants at each wave

Intervention

Control

Missing cases (non-response)

 

Baseline (Oct/Nov 2008)

 

96

 

79

 

9

 

Mid-phase (May 2009)

 

77

 

73

 

34

 

End phase (May 2010)

 

91

 

64

 

29

 

Cohort 2 (2009– 2011)

Number of participants at each wave

Intervention

Control

Missing cases

 

Baseline (Oct/Nov 2009)

 

85

 

84

 

12

 

Mid-phase (May 2010)

 

79

 

72

 

30

 

End phase (May 2011)

 

82

 

58

 

41

Table 1: ECCE sample size per wave in archived dataset

  

DATA AND DOCUMENTATION: FILES’ DESCRIPTION

 

Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

 

File format/s

Contents of file

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_BL

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Baseline for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_END

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at End phase for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_MID

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Mid-phase for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_BL

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Baseline for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_END

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at End phase for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_MID

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Mid-phase for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c1_parent_BL

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Baseline for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c1_parent_END

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at End phase for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c2_parent_BL

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at Baseline for Cohort 2 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c2_parent_END

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset at End phase for Cohort 2 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_serv_CIS

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned data for CIS instrument from Service Assessments.

0057-00_ecce_serv_ecers_E

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned data for ECERS-E instrument from Service Assessments.

0057-00_ecce_serv-ecers_R

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned data for ECERS-R instrument from Service Assessments.

 

Documentation (available for download)

File name

 

File format/s

Contents of file

0057-00_ecce_user_guide

PDF (.pdf)

User Guide to accompany full collection.

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_BL_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Baseline for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_END_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at End-phase for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c1_child_MID_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Mid-phase for Cohort 1 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_BL_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Baseline for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_END_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at End-phase for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_c2_child_MID_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Mid-phase for Cohort 2 Child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_rhyme_and_alliteration_instructions

PDF (.pdf)

Instructions for fieldworkers conducting the child Assessment.

0057-00_ecce_rhyme_and_alliteration_lower_letter_instruments

PDF (.pdf)

Research instruments used in End phase to gather data for Rhyme and Alliteration scale, and for Lowe Letter Recognition scale.

0057-00_ecce_c1_parent_BL_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Baseline for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c1_parent_END_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at End phase for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c2_parent_BL_codebook

 

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at Baseline for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_c2_parent_END_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies at End phase for Cohort 1 Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_parent_BL_survey

PDF (.pdf)

Research instruments used in Baseline phase of Parent Interview.

0057-00_ecce_parent_END_survey

PDF (.pdf)

Research instruments used in Baseline phase of End phase Interview.

0057-00_ecce_parent_procedures

PDF (.pdf)

Instructions for field workers conducting Parent Interviews.

0057-00_ecce_parent_questionnaire_home_learning

PDF (.pdf)

HLE instrument

0057-00_ecce_strengths_and_difficulties_questionnaire

PDF (.pdf)

SDQ instrument

0057-00_ecce_serv_CIS_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies for CIS data from Service Assessments

0057-00_ecce_serv_ecers_E_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies for ECERS-E data from Service Assessments

0057-00_ecce_serv_ecers_R_codebook

PDF (.pdf)

File containing variable level description and frequencies for ECERS-R data from Service Assessments

 

LINKS

Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative: http://www.twcdi.ie/

Evaluation Reports: http://www.twcdi.ie/research-policy/evaluation-reports/

 

 

ACCESS INFORMATION

 

Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a request form for research purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

Copyright

Copyright of Childhood Development Initiative (TWCDI)

Acknowledgements

Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Early Childhood Care and Education collection: Evaluation of the Early Years Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative (ECCE), 2008 – 2011." and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive - www.ucd.ie/issda”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative. (2017). Early Childhood Care and Education collection: Evaluation of the Early Years Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative (ECCE), 2008 – 2011. [data collection]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0057-00. www.issda.ie/ecce

Notification

The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

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