EasyPeasy is a smartphone app for parents of pre-school aged children. The app aims to improve child development by increasing positive parent-child interaction through play at home. EasyPeasy sends parents regular game ideas and inspiration that they can play with their children, combined with information on child development. The app contains games that cover all seven of the early years curriculum (EYFS) areas of learning and development. The games were developed in consultation with early years experts.
Each game is presented through a short video clip, and brief written instructions. Parents then receive a series of text reminders releasing new games weekly, and encouraging them to play with their children. Parents are connected in small groups providing a virtual support network. A desktop component allows practitioners in early years settings to share and communicate with these parent networks and offer support.
EasyPeasy is a smartphone app. Pracitioners in early years settings use a desktop component.
The Sutton Trust Parental Engagement Fund Project (April, 2018) carried out two evaluations of EasyPeasy, one in Newham and one in Bournemouth. Both studies found that families in the intervention groups (those with access to EasyPeasy) had significantly higher scores than the comparison groups on two parent-reported outcomes: children's cognitive self-regulation and parents' sense of control.
The Newham study found a mean effect size of +0.35 for children's cognitive self-regulation, as reported by their parents. This measure includes the ability to 'work things out for oneself', 'persist in completing difficult tasks' and 'making decisions independently'.
A promising effect was observed for parental self-control. Parents reported feeling more 'in control' as a parent and had a greater sense of being able to 'get their child to behave well' and 'respond to boundaries'. They also reported being able to 'stay calm when facing difficulties'. The study found a mean effect size of +0.26 for this outcome.
The Bournemouth study found a mean effect size of +0.51 for parents' self-efficacy regarding discipline and boundaries. This study also found a mean effect size of +0.44 for children's cognitive self-regulation, as reported by their parents.
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) carried out an evaluation of EasyPeasy from September 2017 to July 2018. 1,205 pupils were included in the evaluation. Pupils using EasyPeasy did not make any additional progress in language development compared to children in control schools.
Mixed results were found for children’s social, emotional, and behavioural outcomes. Children using the intervention made small increases in sociability, cognitive self-regulation, and emotional self-regulation.
Engagement from parents for the continued use of EasyPeasy was considered to be a challenge for nurseries.
The study found mean effect size of +0.04 for core language.
The Sutton Trust evaluation report found promising findings relating to important skills in the early years. The samples in the two trials represented two very different populations.
The Education Endowment Foundation and the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University ran a project in 2017/2018 with 120 early years settings focusing on nursery classes in primary schools.