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Case study

Greater Manchester: Early years new delivery model


3 Aug 2015

Greater Manchester aimed to reduce demand and dependency across was their early years service as part of one of their four national community budget pilots.

Greater Manchester wanted to support the delivery of the Sure Start Core Purpose, which has at its heart improving outcomes for young children and families and reducing equalities in: child development and school readiness; parenting skills and aspiration; and child and family health and life chances.

Greater Manchester is a conurbation made up of ten authorities. In 2012, 40% of children in Greater Manchester were considered to be ‘not school ready’, which equates to 16,000 children not being ready for school. This puts them on a poor life trajectory from the outset, unable to engage with the national curriculum effectively and at risk of never catching up. Therefore as part of their broader strategy to improve the early years experience of all young people, they decided to concentrate on ‘school readiness’ as a key indicator.

Aim of the work

Greater Manchester aimed to increase the number of children who are ready for school. By making the best use of resources, they wanted to improve outcomes for all children in their early years and close the gap in performance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile between all children and the bottom 20%.

This aim was underpinned by the principles of Public Service Reform and concepts of early assessment and identification of need, intervening assertively and using interventions that have a proven evidence base of success. As an overarching aim, Greater Manchester have been looking to make tangible progress in supporting residents to be independent and self-reliant, and to reduce expensive demands on public services.

What was done

The Early Years New Delivery Model was undertaken as a new approach to improve the outcomes of the bottom 20% of children in performance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. After reviewing the evidence, taking a Cost Benefit Analysis of interventions and taking a whole family (and whole system) approach, the Early Years New Delivery Model was developed to ultimately increase the effectiveness of universal early years services. There are eight key elements of the model:

  1. A shared outcomes framework of population indicators and individual child measures.
  2. A whole-family, eight-stage common assessment pathway (from pre-birth to the last term before the child’s fifth birthday).
  3. Evidence-based assessment tools to identify families reaching threshold for interventions.
  4. Evidence-based interventions – interventions with the strongest evidence base to improve school readiness have been identified. Service specifications which detail the standards across GM are being developed.
  5. Better use of day care – a specification is being developed to guide providers in helping drive parent engagement in education, employment, training and volunteering.
  6. A new workforce approach enabling frontline professionals to work in a more integrated way.
  7. Better data systems to allow professionals access to the relevant data.
  8. Long-term evaluation to ensure families’ needs continue to be addressed.

The model has support from various bodies including the Greater Manchester Health & Wellbeing Board and NHS England. Greater Manchester have established multi-agency implementation groups in each of the ten localities.

What was the impact?

The Early Years New Delivery model encouraged parents to get into or back into the labour market at an appropriate stage of the child’s development.The provision of quality day care and education has ensured that families choose to remain in their neighbourhoods.

The model which supports early identification of need leading to intervention has had a significant impact on children’s:

  • school readiness at 5
  • overall education attainment
  • future economic potential, resilience and independence.

The model has deployed Early Years Outreach Workers across the city using an assertive approach and working in an integrated way with health visitors. This integrated way of working with health and other partners has supported the delivery of the Sure Start Core Purpose across Greater Manchester.