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Early Years Conversation Project

Research tells us that the early years are hugely important in determining a child’s future. All children deserve access to high-quality education and care.

What happens early, matters for a lifetime.

  • Do you want to learn about the brain building power of conversation, and how it improves children’s communication and wellbeing?
  • Do you want to learn effective strategies that you can use with every child, every day?

If so… the Early Years Conversation Project (EYCP) is for you!

EYCP is based on a strong body of research evidence that consistently shows that communication and language approaches benefit young children’s learning. Early language ability is one of the strongest predictors of later development through school and in life. Language is essential for thinking, social and emotional wellbeing and learning in all areas of development.

A Brighter Start, East London’s Early Years Stronger Practice Hub is delighted to invite applications from early years’ settings to take part in this study (funded by the Education Endowment Foundation) to evaluate the Early Years Conversation Project.

Programme Details

Delivered by Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre, the programme aims to develop staff’s interactions with children to improve the language skills of two- and three-year-olds. The evaluation will be led by Durham University.
  • 29 hours of training over 8 months (blended online and in person)
  • 2-4 hours supporting colleagues at Durham University to evaluate the programme
  • FREE training received in year 1 or 2 of the project (depending on randomization)
  • £400 incentive payment
  • 50% of backfill costs

Recruitment criteria:

  • Located in the following London boroughs (Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Camden, Redbridge, Barnet, City of London, Westminster, Newham, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich and Brent).
  • Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nursery or a state funded school-based nursery offering Free Early Education and Childcare (FEE) for 2-year-olds.
  • Have a minimum of 8 children aged 2-years-old at the start of September 2023, who will attend the setting for a minimum of 15 hours a week during the 2023-2024 school year. 
  • Able to commit to releasing one practitioner who works directly with 2-3-year-olds as the ‘EYCP Champion’ to attend training sessions throughout the project.  
  • Able to commit to releasing the setting manager or the Early Years Foundation Stage lead for 3 training sessions, in addition to supporting the ‘EYCP Champion’ throughout the project.
  • Have not participated in Manor Park Talks or Newham Communication Project.
  • Are not taking part in the DfE’s Early Years Professional Development Programme provided by Elkan or any other Early Years trials funded by the EEF or similar funder.

  • As part of the Department for Education’s Early Years Recovery Programme, Stronger Practice Hubs across England and the Education Endowment Foundation are working together to fund Early Years settings’ access to evidence-informed programmes and study the programme’s 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 EEF is working with A Brighter Start – East London’s Early Years Stronger Practice Hub to fund settings’ access to Early Years Conversation Project and evaluate the programme through an efficacy trial.
  • State-maintained and private, voluntary and independent nurseries  in the following local authorities are being invited to take part in this research project. 

Further Information

For further information please email:

Or to sign up please fill in this short form here

For further details please read the setting information leaflet – download below