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Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE)

The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) is a longitudinal study that investigates the attainment and development of children between the ages of 3 to 7 years. Three thousand children and their families were recruited to the study over the period January 1997 to April 1999 from 141 pre-school centres.

Both qualitative and quantitative methods (including multilevel modelling) have been used to explore the effects of individual pre-school centres on children's attainment and social/behavioural development at entry to school and at the end of Key Stage 1. In addition to centre effects, the study investigates the contribution to children's development of individual and family characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, language, parental education and employment. This project has been devised by a team consisting of Professor Kathy Sylva, University of Oxford, Professor Edward Melhuish, Birkbeck, University of London, Professor Pam Sammons and Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Institute of Education, University of London.

The EPPE project investigates three issues which have important implications for policy and practice:

  • the effects on children of different types of pre-school provision,
  • the characteristics of more effective pre-school settings (e.g. interaction styles, pedagogy, staff training).
  • the interaction between child and family characteristics and the kind of pre-school provision a child experiences.

An educational effectiveness research design was chosen to investigate these topics. This enabled the research team to investigate the progress and development of individual children (including the impact of individual, socio-economic and family characteristics), and the effect of individual pre-school centres on children's outcomes from 3 to 7 years of age.

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