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Parents can boost children's early years progress by almost half a year

Parents can boost children's early years progress. Photo: PA

Children whose parents take an active interest in their education from an early age are likely to make more progress than their peers. New research suggests that getting mums and dads involved in their child's learning, such as encouraging them to read and talk together at home, can boost a youngster's progress by almost half a year.

Engaging parents before their son or daughter starts school is valuable and is likely to have an impact on their later academic success, according to a report published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The EEF's new Early Years Toolkit analyses evidence on methods of raising achievement among young children in a bid to help nurseries and pre-schools improve the learning of poor three and four-year-olds.

A previous study by the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, found that the poorest youngsters can be up to 19 months behind their wealthiest classmates when they start school at age five.

The latest findings show that on average, youngsters whose parents are involved in their learning make around five months extra progress over the course of a year.

Schemes to get mums and dads to take part in education could include encouraging parents to read and talk with their child at home, encouraging them to take part in activities with their child at nursery or offering classes in parenting skills.