The ultimate aim of Better provision for Norway's children from early childhood education and care through primary school?[BeProS] is to provide information enabling better educational opportunities for all children in Norway by studying how early childhood experiences affect later development, at grade 5. We are continuing to follow 1152 children whom we followed in the GoBaN project up to the start of school. The earlier phase of the longitudinal study revealed how an early start in kindergarten could be beneficial for children. This project is unique in providing a better understanding of how differences in early childhood can explain developmental trajectories in school. By identifying which factors predict social skills and school performance, policymakers and practitioners will be better equipped to provide an inclusive educational system that provides better prospects for all children living in Norway, as well as reducing the gap between children of disadvantaged backgrounds and the general population.
BeProS [GoBaN school] are in progress and all the WP's are established. Due to the pandemic, and the exertion on families and schools the recruitment process has been more demanding than predicted. Intensive work has been carried out on developing and piloting mapping tests and questionnaires to be used in the study. So far, approx. 500 of the children are recruited. Several approaches have been taken to get in touch with parents. We have gone through different faces in our approach starting with an invitation to participate by e-mail and text messages to the parents. As of now, we send out invitations by post where parents also receive a QR code to the consent form or sign on paper. We have arranged webinar for the parents' providing information about the importance of the original GoBaN study and the results for ECEC, and what to be carried out in the follow-up study. The webinar had a good effect on recruitment, and it is available on our website for the parents. We will arrange a similar webinar with the schools to inform the teachers about the study and how to conduct/carry out the mapping tests. Parents are concern about the child's development and academic challenges, as well as stigmatization.
WP1: The aim of this work package is to study the effect of children's early years experiences during ECEC on social competence development and academic performance in primary school. The study builds on the longitudinal data collected in the original GoBaN study in order to estimate the effects on children's social development and academic achievement in primary school. In doing this, we will also include measures of the school attended by the children. For example, we estimate the effect of school effectiveness on child outcomes such as language and math, across grades 1-5 in primary school, when we allow for the patterns of preschool experience. For 1000+ children in the GoBaN sample, there is extensive data including child cognitive and social development up to age 5 years. For these children, the study will estimate the progress made between age three years and start of school. Then the study will examine children's differential progress in the preschool years and how that relates to their development in primary schools. For 800 children in the GoBaN sample, we have additional data on child cognition and social competence between the age of 3 years and the start of school. Also, we have extensive data on the characteristics of the preschools they attended. This will enable further exploration of the contribution of differences in ECEC experience upon cognitive and social development while at school. Thus far the necessary measures of child cognitive social and emotional development have been established and prepared ready for data collection. Also, measures of the home environment have been prepared.
WP2:The aim of this work package is to study a potential relationship between children's early years experiences during ECEC on writing performance in primary school. In addition, WP2 aims at developing indicators for quality in writing. The WP working currently on which selection criteria for written texts to be conducted to best analyzing narratives and argumentative text and give a possibility to outline quality indicators.
WP3: Focuses on children's academic achievements in reading and arithmetic. The work package also includes the tasks of identifying and collecting tests for measuring reading and arithmetic skills. We will use results from national tests in addition to collecting data on more specific skills in arithmetic and reading. National tests in reading and arithmetic are conducted by Utdanningsdirektoratet in September and the analysis will take place from December 2021. We plan to carry out our tests in spring 2022 for cohort 2011 and 2023 for cohort 2012.
The aim of ‘Better provision for Norway’s children from early childhood education and care through primary school’ [BeProS] is to increase educational opportunities for all children in Norway by studying how conditions in early childhood relate to children’s development in primary school. Our target group is 1152 children who participated in the GoBaN project during their preschool years who are now in formal schooling. Consequently, the current proposal constitutes phase two of the longitudinal GoBaN project (2012-2019) (financed by the Research Council of Norway), which assessed the importance of early childhood conditions both in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and at home on children’s social and cognitive development.
In this follow-up, we take it a step further by studying how early-years experiences relate to social skills and educational performance in primary School (4th and 5th grade). By continuing the longitudinal design from the GoBaN study, we will gain a broad and in-depth understanding of how children develop in relation to their school environment while accounting for previous conditions in early childhood.
With this project, there is a unique possibility to better understand how differences in early childhood can explain developmental trajectories in school. By identifying which factors predict social skills and school performance, policymakers and practitioners will be better equipped to provide an inclusive educational system that provides better prospects for all children living in Norway, as well as reducing the gap between children of different backgrounds.