Good Practice Case Studies

Between September and December 2015, NatCen contacted a small number of settings to explore in-depth how these settings articulate, establish and sustain good practice that results in positive child outcomes. 

What was involved?

Each case study involved a researcher from NatCen visiting a setting to explore how good practice is achieved and maintained. The visit involved:

- An interview with the setting manager (approximately 1 hour)

- Interviews with up to four other staff members 

Visits were arranged for a date that was convenient for the setting and interviews were arranged for times that minimised disruption to the working day. There were no right or wrong answers. We were interested in learning from the settings’ views and experiences. 

We also wanted to interview a small number of parents/carers by telephone, and asked settings to distribute letters and leaflets to parents about the research. Parents/carers interested in taking part were then contacted directly by the research team.

What was the research focus?

We were particularly interested in hearing about:

- How settings had achieved and sustained good quality provision

- What factors contributed to the following:

- High quality teaching and learning
- Effective communication with parents
- Staff retention and professional development
- Effective management and leadership 

Was taking part mandatory?

Taking part wasn't mandatory but by taking part you did your bit to champion good practice in Early Years.

What happened after the visit? 

The views of all those involved in the research – setting managers, setting staff and parents/carers – contributed to a report about good practice in Early Years Settings for DfE. Settings and individuals were not named in the report.  Please check this website for details on the report’s publication. 

Research timeline

Fieldwork: September - December 2015

Report: Summer 2016