The Early Childhood Development Project- a ground-breaking opportunity to help transform the lives of young children in Peterborough

Bondholders are being offered the opportunity to become involved in a ground-breaking and exciting project which aims to test a new approach to improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for children aged 6 to 30 months in Peterborough.  Peterborough City Council has been working with researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), University College London (UCL) and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) to design, implement and evaluate a home-visiting programme to support parents in Peterborough and help them to provide the stimulating home environment their children need in order to thrive.

Many of the social challenges that Peterborough faces – including low aspirations and skills, unemployment and poor health – have their roots in early childhood. Numerous high-quality studies confirm that intervening early in a child’s life can help them to overcome disadvantages and reach their full potential. This is good both for children and their families and for the wider public purse; intervening early helps to prevent problems from happening, rather than addressing them later when they are more socially and financially costly.

Despite the strong evidence base supporting early intervention, little is known about the best way to support child development in the British context. There are very few services offered to disadvantaged children before they become entitled to free childcare at age two. In this project, the research team aims to fill this gap by adapting a home-visiting programme that has proved successful in other countries to develop a scalable and sustainable model of early intervention for disadvantaged children in the UK. Rigorous evaluation of this programme will make a major contribution to our understanding of what works in early intervention in this country.

The project team represents a unique partnership of a local authority, economists and child development experts. The team has already brought funding from the Nuffield Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) into Peterborough for the initial phases of the work, including focus groups with local parents and piloting the new programme.

The project is overseen by a Steering Group of key local partners. The group would like to invite those from wider stakeholder networks who are passionate about transforming the lives of young children (and their families) and contributing to a future workforce filled with aspiration and skills to become involved in the project. This could mean joining the Steering Group or our wider network of supporters or becoming an ambassador for the project within your own networks.

For further information or to discuss becoming involved, please contact the Project Manager, Catrina Storey, at – we look forward to hearing from you.