Pilot study of the Communication Friendly Home-Based Settings Programme

As part of the Department for Education’s Early Years Recovery Programme, Stronger Practice Hubs (SPHs) and the Education Endowment Foundation are working together to fund Early Years settings’ access to evidence-informed programmes. The aims of this funding are to support education recovery following the pandemic, and to develop our understanding of effective professional development in the early years. The Communication-Friendly Home-Based Settings (CFHBS) programme is one of those programmes, originally developed in response to demand from local authorities and the early years workforce for professional development for childminders. It is modelled on the Communication-Friendly Settings (CFS) (Early Years) programme which is available for early years group-based settings and has shown evidence of promise.

40 childminders are participating in the study, they will take part in either one of two different variants of the programme; Speech and Language Support for 3-5s (SLS 3-5s) or Let’s Talk with Under 5s (LTU5s). Both variants can lead to attaining Communication Home-Based Settings status.

Given the current lack of knowledge relating to interventions in England with childminders and given what we do know about variability and diversity between childminders (including in prior experience and qualifications) the pilot will also contribute to increasing the knowledge-base relating to feasibility and accessibility of childminder-based Continuing Professional Development (CPD), interventions and evaluations.

This pilot takes place alongside an efficacy trial of the CFS programme.

Project aims

This pilot study is designed to answer the following overarching research questions:

What is the feasibility of implementation, evidence of promise and readiness for trial of the CFHBS intervention (both the SLS 3-5s and LTU5s training versions) in terms of take up of training, programme completion and perceived impacts (on both childminders and the 2-5 year old children in their settings)?

Do these outcomes vary between the two programme variants (SLS 3-5s and LTU5s)?


Peer-reviewed report will be published on the EEF website. Results should impact on Elklan’s training offer to childminders.

Publications and outputs

Currently the published study plan and further details on the study are available on the EEF website here.

The peer-reviewed report will be available on the website c. March/April 2025.

Project website