Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Baseline Research Evaluation for the Early Learning Initiative

Research Staff

Dr. Michelle Share, Dr. Erika Doyle, Liz Kerrins, Prof. Sheila Greene, Sandra McCarthy

About the Project

The ELI is a community-based educational initiative designed and delivered by the National College of Ireland. It operates in the Dublin docklands where a programme of urban regeneration has been ongoing for the last decade. The ELI aims to address educational disadvantage through an integrated programme of activities, training and supports, for children, parents, families, and child care and education providers. The ELI involves four communities/parishes located north and south of the River Liffey.

The overall goal of the ELI is to provide learning support programmes, which enable positive educational change in the local community. The ELI is informed by community development principles and practices. It aims to operate in a climate of respect and trust, draw upon local strengths and respond to local needs.
Based on evidence of local needs and the work of an advisory group that represented parents, childcare providers, educationalists, statutory and non-statutory agencies the desired outcomes agreed for the ELI intervention are:

Programme outcomes

Emotional well-being

  • children will have secure attachment and higher levels of confidence and self-esteem.


  • children will show a greater degree of wonder and excitement in their learning, concentration and perseverance in their activities.

School readiness

  • children will have age and developmentally appropriate speech and language.
  • children will master age and developmentally appropriate self care skills
  • improved reading and numeric ability at each stage

Outcomes for parents/guardians

  • improved positive parenting strategies and personal skills
  • increased parental involvement in children's learning and development
  • increased parental well-being
  • reduced isolation and depression
  • increased sense of family support

The ELI offers a variety of evidence-based programmes that have the potential to achieve these outcomes across early years, primary, secondary and third level settings. These include parenting, literacy and numeracy courses, tuition support, third level grants and professional development for childcare workers. For further detail on these programmes see

Timescale and final products of the research

Following a competitive tendering process the Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin was awarded the contract to conduct a two year programme of baseline research and evaluation. The research commenced in January 2009.

The baseline research supports the development of a monitoring and evaluation programme for individual components within the overall ELI programme.

The evaluation also examines outcomes for two key programmes within the ELI:
The Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP) and the Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPD) for early years settings. A form of longitudinal research - cross-sequential design - will be carried out to capture age and time-specific details for participant developmental measures. In addition, the impact of the CPD programme will involve in-depth case studies of early learning centres to assess the impact of the CPD training on parents, children and staff.


Developing Early Years Professionalism (PDF 4.68MB)

Last updated 6 March 2012 by The Children′s Research Centre (Email).