Early Talk Boost evaluation put on hold after data collection issues

The evaluation of an early language intervention has been put on hold after difficulties in collecting data from nurseries.

The Education Endowment Foundation commissioned an independent evaluation of Early Talk Boost, a targeted early language intervention for three- and four-year-olds who would benefit from additional support with communication and language skills.

The evaluation, which was run by the Institute for Employment Studies, aimed to evaluate the impact of Early Talk Boost on children’s ability to talk and understand words. However, it was cancelled after difficulties in collecting baseline data, which aimed to assess children’s levels of development before they received the programmes.

Early Talk Boost was developed by  specialist teachers and speech and language therapists from charity Speech and Language UK, with the help of early years practitioners and parents.

Settings that took part in the initial data collection will receive thank-you payments funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. All settings who signed up for the study will receive the programme this year, supported with funding from Stronger Practice Hubs. Training, materials and support will be delivered by Speech and Language UK.

The Education Endowment Foundation said it was exploring ways to recommission the evaluation. It will publish a “lessons learned” report to summarise the challenges encountered during the evaluation.

Speech and Language UK is one more than 50 organisations  making up the #LetsTalkCommunication coalition. The coalition this month sent open letters to party leaders Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and Ed Davey, calling for party manifestos to recognise the importance of supporting children’s spoken language and communication development.

Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with all our events, awards and publications.

Information you provide us with will be kept private at all times, and will be used for communication and research purpose only.