Evaluation of the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme of Tallaght West Child Development Initiative
In association with Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative Ltd.
Research funded by: Atlantic Philanthropies and the Office of the Minister for Children
This research is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and the Office of the Minister for Children and will be ongoing for 3 and a half years.The research will be managed through a partnership between the Centre for Social and Educational Research [CSER], Dublin Institute of Technology and the Institute of Education [IOE], University of London. Professor Nóirín Hayes and Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford (IOE) act as Principal Investigators for the project and Siobhan Keegan is the full-time lead researcher. Part-time field-workers will carry out field work in phases over the three and a half years and regular reports will arise from the ongoing evaluation work.
A cluster randomisation trial is being used to evaluate the programme in which the unit of inference is the individual (child). Service providers who agreed to participate in the RCT were matched in pairs based on data collated by CDI (e.g. staff qualifications; child: staff ratio; service capacity; parental support; staff development; etc). This information was used to randomly assign service providers into control (Crocus) and intervention (Iris) groups. Iris groups receive a dedicated and manualised Early Childhood Care and Education Programme that is being rolled out by Tallaght West CDI.
The purpose of the research is to evaluate the implementation of CDI ECCE programme by assessing its impact on:
- Children’s developmental progress
- Inter-disciplinary assessments and effective referral mechanisms
- Support and training of pre-school staff
In addition, the research focuses on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the CDI ECCE programme, particularly in terms of:
- day to day experiences of young children in the home, preschool and early primary school
- preschool quality and curriculum
- planning and implementation
- monitoring and assessment strategies
- qualifications and training of staff
- programme resources
- partnership with parents
- quality assurance, inspection
- transitional issues
The evaluation team will also evaluate the overall roll-out of the programme at the CDI level through the use of documentary analysis, observation and interview and focus groups.