An innovative new app will be launched by the Sutton Trust to raise the attainment of disadvantaged two to five-year-olds.
EasyPeasy sends parents ideas for games they can play with their children each week as well as a providing a virtual support network and SMS service, helping them support their youngsters' learning and development.
The app is being developed as part of a new £1 million parental engagement fund from the Sutton Trust and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
Previous research by the Sutton Trust has found evidence of a 19-month gap in school readiness between the richest and the poorest children at age five.
In addition, the Education Endowment Foundation has developed an Early Years Toolkit that reveals the benefits of parental involvement in boosting attainment among early years children.
The £1 million fund recognises that one of the best ways of improving outcomes for young learners is to involve parents in their education.
Currently, the government funds 15 hours of early years education and care for 40 per cent of the most economically disadvantaged two-year olds. Another project supported by the fund, Peep into Preschool, will address the low take-up of the offer through home visits and events.
Other schemes include Engaging Parents Effectively, which provides training for staff in schools so they can provide parental engagement workshops.
Grow our Own is a programme aimed at raising parents' awareness of the importance of being involved in their children's education at all stages of life.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: "We know that the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest pupils begins before they've even started school.
"Tackling this disparity early on is critical to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and improving social mobility. We will support these six promising interventions to develop their delivery and increase their impact."
Posted by Alan Douglas