LEAP has two main aims for our evaluation:
To demonstrate the achievements of our individual services in improving early childhood development.
To show how our portfolio of services and ways of working complement and work in combination with one another to make an even greater difference for children and families.
We are therefore interested in both the effectiveness of our individual services and LEAP’s overall effectiveness as a collective impact initiative comprised of multiple services working to give local children a better start.
Our Theory of Change shows the eight areas (domains) we work across, our intended outcomes, and how we plan to achieve these outcomes. Each of our domains support, influence, and build on each other, leading to our ultimate impact: improved outcomes for all LEAP children and substantive improvement for those at greatest risk of poor outcomes.
New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) were commissioned to undertake a rapid evidence review in early 2020 to inform LEAP’s next five years, with a focus on reducing inequalities in the early years.
Authors, Ivana La Valle and Naomi Jones, and our Evaluation and Research Manager, Jill Roberts, shared the latest evidence of 'what works' for reducing inequalities at a webinar.
Watch the webinar in full, and download the slides and the full review.
LEAP has a three-layered approach to evaluation:
LEAP has refreshed our programme- and service-level Theories of Change. These describe how the LEAP programme intends to work and make a difference for children and families. They lay the foundation for our future research and evaluation.
Based on our Theories of Change, LEAP has implemented a shared outcomes measurement framework, with supporting monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) frameworks, tailored for each of our services.
For each of our services, we are now routinely collecting six main types of data:
Data is typically collected from participants at the beginning and end of our services.
We will soon be publishing our key evaluation questions (KEQs) and evaluation plan for the next few years. These will be co-produced by LEAP, key stakeholders, including local families, and our local evaluation partner, Dartington Service Design Lab.
Our evaluation is supported by LEAP’s Integrated Data Platform. This single platform receives and combines data from all LEAP services, matches individual beneficiaries across the services, and makes pseudonymised data available for monitoring and evaluation.
More information on our Integrated Data Platform is available in the Data Platform outline document below.
LEAP's Response to Covid-19
The Covid-19 Pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a significant adverse effect on children aged 0–3.
Read about LEAP's response to the Covid-19 Pandemic here.
Our Research Brief (Published April 2020) explored the emerging impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on children, families and inequalities in early childhood development.
A Better Start's Response to Covid-19
The A Better Start insight report – published in September 2020 - focused on how COVID-19 is affecting young children and their families, and how A Better Start partnerships are adapting their practice and programmes to meet the challenge.
The ‘Big Little Moments’ campaign set out to promote parenting behaviours to support good early child development in children up to 4.
It aimed to build parents and carers’ understanding of the benefits of such behaviours, and to encourage the behaviours to be adopted.
Ecorys – an independent research company – evaluated Big Little Moments to measure changes to parents and carers’: awareness; knowledge; understanding, attitude; and behaviours.
Watch their presentation, and read the full reports below.