Evaluation of the National Early Years Service (Tús Maith)

Centre for Social and Educational Research. (2014). Evaluation of the National Early Years Service (Tús Maith). https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.13085/1254
The evaluation of Tús Maith was undertaken by the Centre for Social and Educational Research (CSER), in collaboration with the UCD Geary Institute from 2011 to 2013. The ultimate aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the Tús Maith programme in terms of delivery and sustainability and its impact on young children. The approach was mixed methods and quasi-experimental, incorporating a number of elements. The qualitative component included semi-structured interviews with Tús Maith staff, their project managers, the Tús Maith coach, regional and national managers, and parents. In addition, pre-and-post-programme quantitative data was collected from the children’s parents and project staff implementing Tús Maith. Changes were assessed in the four outcome areas of emotional well-being; social competence; language and literacy; and physical development. In total, 108 children from eight Tús Maith pre-school settings took part in the study. In addition, a comparison group of 179 children from nine alternative pre-school settings also participated. It was found that Tús Maith cohort had a higher percentage of Traveller children, while the comparator cohort had no Traveller children.