When justifying your EYPP expenditure it will be important to monitor at two separate points ie a starting point and again after the intervention. There will be a range of ways that you are currently monitoring your practice as well as tracking children’s progress. These can all be used as evidence of the impact of your EYPP choices. The way you monitor children’s progress may need revising to show the impact on this group of children or child.
Ways you may currently be reviewing your practice
- tracking cohorts or groups of children
- monitoring quality of interactions between staff and children
- monitoring the types of interactions children have with staff
- monitoring how children are using different elements of the learning environment
- seeking the views of children, families and staff
- using nationally or internationally recognised tools such as ECERS, EEL, Leuven scales, SSTEW etc
- analysing which parents respond to which parental engagement strategy
- using and analysing tools from past initiatives such as ECAT
- reports from outside professionals
- learning walks
- comments or letters from parents.
All of these can also be used to evidence the difference the EYPP funding has made.
In addition to these it may also be worth thinking about the impact of the expenditure on staff as well as families as a means of justifying the decisions made.
Within the project, we used a standard format for collecting and monitoring data about children’s progress. You can download the template to use and adapt for your own context.
One of the networks looked at how they could be less hard to reach for some parents. They monitored which parents interacted with the staff over a given period of time. It was important to do this so that an accurate picture could be built up. This network worked with a consultant and continued monitoring after the intervention to see if it had made a difference.
Justifying your choices is a process and will be refined the more opportunities you have to do it. The means by which you do it will also be refined with time and experience. There is no prescribed way to do this and how you choose to show this impact will be determined by how the EYPP funding has been spent,