Formative Evaluation of Nuffield Early Language Intervention Preschool (NELI Preschool) 2024

Staff privacy notice [PDF]
Parent privacy notice [PDF]
Setting Information Sheet [PDF]

What is the Formative Evaluation of Nuffield Early Language Intervention Preschool (NELI Preschool) 2024?

As part of the Department for Education’s Early Years Recovery Programme, nine Stronger Practice Hubs across England and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) are working together to fund nurseries’ access to evidence-informed programmes and study the programmes’ influence on practice and children’s outcomes. This initiative aims to support education recovery following the pandemic, whilst also developing our understanding of effective professional development in the early years. The NELI Preschool programme will be delivered by OxEd and Assessment (OxEd) and will be independently evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).  The aim of the evaluation is to ascertain the impact of NELI Preschool on the language skills of 3 to 4-year-old children.

As part of this larger project, NFER is carrying out a formative evaluation prior to the main effectiveness trial in order to better understand the experience of private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nurseries while using the NELI Preschool programme.

The formative evaluation will focus on the activities and delivery of NELI Preschool in 20 PVI nurseries between January and April 2024, although the intervention will continue to be delivered and supported until July 2024.

Further information on the NELI Preschool programme can be found  here.

Who can take part in this formative evaluation?

  • PVI nurseries with a minimum of twelve 3 to 4-year-old children attending 15+ hours per week in the 2023-24 academic year.
  • Participating nurseries must be willing to allocate time for a minimum of two nursery staff members to complete online training and administer LanguageScreen, encouraging as many practitioners who work with 3 to 4-year-olds as possible to complete the online training as well. Payment for training time will be made for up to 2 trainees per nursery (£120 per trainee).
  • Nurseries that took part in the previous evaluation of NELI Preschool (known as the NELI – Nursery or NELI-N efficacy trial) by the University of Oxford are not eligible to take part in this evaluation.
  • All 3 to 4-year-old children (as of 31st August 2023) who are in the pre-school classroom and attend nursery 15+ hours a week are eligible to take part in the evaluation. Children who attend fewer than 15 hours a week or who ‘move up’ or join the pre-school classroom after nurseries have completed their baseline LanguageScreen assessments are not eligible for the evaluation; however, these children can still take part in the Whole Group Sessions they are present for.

What does the evaluation involve?

As part of the evaluation, all participating nurseries will be required to use LanguageScreen to assess all children aged 3-4 (as on 31st August 2023) in the nursery prior to starting programme delivery.

In addition, nurseries will be asked to share with NFER the nursery attendance patterns for each child, the names of any children in receipt of the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and the names of those children selected for the targeted intervention.

Some nurseries will be invited to participate in additional activities to support NFER’s understanding of the experience, challenges and facilitators of delivering the intervention in a PVI nurseries. These optional activities comprise:

  • An online or in-person interview with the NELI Preschool lead in the nurseries;
  • Facilitating an NFER researcher to visit the nursery to observe session delivery;
  • Tracking when each programme session is delivered and which children attended using NFER’s NELI Preschool session attendance register.

Timeline for key activities

The formative evaluation will focus on the activities and delivery of NELI Preschool between January and April 2024, although the intervention will continue to be delivered and supported until July 2024.

A detailed timeline of activities can be found   here.

What is the benefit of my nursery participating in this formative evaluation?

Your nursery will contribute to a better understanding of how the programme can be most effectively delivered in PVI nurseries, including how best to implement the programme in the future and at a larger scale.

All participating nurseries will also receive:

  • The NELI Preschool programme
  • Up to £445 in recognition of their contribution to this research
  • Paid staff time to complete training and administer LanguageScreen assessments (£120 per trainee for up to 2 trainees per nursery; £55 for testing all eligible children with LanguageScreen before and after programme delivery (each assessment takes 5-10 minutes per child).
  • Access to LanguageScreen reports for children who have been assessed before and after programme delivery.

All staff members involved in the delivery of NELI Preschool sessions will be given access to the online training supported by OxEd. This Continued Professional Development (CPD) is accredited by CPDUK with a certificate of completion at the end of the training course. 

Who controls what data is shared?

NFER is the data controller for this evaluation and will make decisions about how and what personal data is used in accordance with the objectives of the evaluation set by the EEF. OxEd is the data processor during the evaluation.

Privacy Information

OxEd & Assessment’s Privacy Notice can be found  here.

You can see further details of the evaluation and links to NFER’s privacy notices at the following links:

How should my nursery sign up for this evaluation?

The OxEd team is sending a Memorandum of Understanding to take part in this evaluation to nurseries who expressed an interest and received confirmation of their participation in December 2023 for the Nursery Manager to sign and return.

Who should I contact for more information?

You can find out more about NELI Preschool and see what other nurseries say about the programme on the OxEd & Assessment website.

For further information about the NELI Preschool programme, please contact Mariela Rios Diaz, Research Officer and NELI Preschool Project Manager at OxEd: [email protected].

For further information about the evaluation please contact NFER at [email protected].