Research Projects

Research is a central component of ELI and is essential in order to develop our understanding of the needs and circumstances of the community. ELI is currently conducting a range of research projects, detailed below. To stay updated on our research projects follow ELI Research Lab on Research Gate or watch out for updates on our social media channels.

Community Action Research

Community Action Research is the primary methodology used in the development of ELI. The action reflection cycle of observe, reflect, act, evaluate and modify (McNiff 2006) informs the development of ELI’s programmes and ensures that plans are implemented. Unlike traditional research, it does not aim for the final answer (McNiff 2010) but provides a structure that enables the continuous evaluation and improvement of the project, both formally and informally. For ELI, this ensures that individual programmes evolve and change according to the educational needs of all the participants and the community. Involving all ELI stakeholders in the action research process supports the successful management of change and creates a learning community that works together to ‘nurture and sustain a knowledge-creating system’, based on valuing each other equally (Senge & Scharmer 2001, 240).

Early Developmental Outcomes of Infants from an Area of Socio-economic Disadvantage: a comparison with National Norms 

This study explores whether infants from an area of socio-economic disadvantage differ in variables related to Child and Parent Well-being, as compared to national norms continued across 2019/20. To date the study has 87 baseline surveys and 40 post programme surveys. A preliminary report on the findings of this research study is available on request from the research team.

ParentChild+ Follow-Up Study

This project aims to follow up with previous graduates of the ParentChild+ (previously Parent Child Home Programme) and explore their current Home Learning Environment experiences, academic engagement, and development across cognitive, behavioural, and socio-emotional domains. It will also map the children's educational journey and find out what, if any, other supports the children may need as they progress through the education system. In March 2020, the study began with initial contact being made by Home Visitors. Two different cohorts were involved, a cohort of 8/9/10 year old's and a cohort of 13/15 year old's. The study is currently on hold due to the challenges of COVID-19 and the design of a ParentChild+ Graduate Programme. It is expected to resume in 2022.

Learnings from a Move Towards Virtual Engagement in Supporting a Community of Socio-Economic Disadvantage During COVID-19. 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Visiting teams at the Early Learning Initiative moved their home visits to virtual visits in compliance with public health advice. In order to capture the engagement during home visits, the quality of intervention being received by families, the challenges facing families and the learnings emerging a new reflection tool was developed to be completed after each home visit across the three stands of home visiting programmes (0-2 Programme, ParentChild+ Programme, and the Home from Home Programme). Over 5000 reflections completed by Home Visitors have been collected which will be explored in 2021/22 to identify the factors that predict positive engagement with virtual delivery of visits.

Academic Research

ELI also carries out research to contribute to the early childhood education academic discipline. You can find journal articles, book chapters and conferences in Research section NCI website