TThe EPPE 3-11 study (2003-2008) provides
a five year extension to Europe's largest longitudinal investigation
into the effects of pre-school education on children's developmental
outcomes at the start of primary school: the Effective Provision
of Pre-School Education (EPPE, 1997-2003). EPPE, EPPE 3-11, and
their associated extensions (see: www.ioe.ac.uk/)
represent a major investment into early educational effectiveness
research by the Department for Education and Skills, and the Department
for Education: Northern Ireland.
Following the developmental
trajectories of 3000 randomly selected children in 141 preschool
settings, the EPPE study has shown the contribution to children's
development of attendance at different types of early childhood
provision. It has also investigated the effects of duration of pre-school,
and the contribution to children's outcomes of different pedagogical
strategies and different levels of staff qualification. While investigating
the effects of pre-school, the study has also demonstrated the important
contribution of family factors to children's development, including
demographic influences such as social class and behavioural influences
such as family activities that enhance young children's learning.
By combining the 'education' and the 'social background' analyses,
the positive influence of early childhood education has been demonstrated,
especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those
at risk of developing special educational needs. The EPPE 3-11 extension
has been developed to explore four related themes:
a) Do the effects of pre-school continue into Key Stage 2?
b) What are the characteristics of 'effective' primary classrooms
c) Who are the resilient and the vulnerable children in the EPPE sample?
d) What is the contribution of 'out-of-school learning' (homes,
communities, internet) to children's development?