Save the Children: Early Years Toolkit

Co-design and deliver an Early Years toolkit to support System Reform and Service Design in the four Children Demonstration sites.



Save the Children is a global charity comprised of 30 international member organisations operating in over 120 countries – Save the Children UK (SCUK) is one of the 30-member organisations. Save the Children works in the UK to create a significant and sustainable improvement in the quality of children’s early years; to narrow the gap in early learning between children growing up in poverty and their better-off peers.

We are working with them to help co-design and deliver an early-years toolkit which aims to support partners within a network of Early Years Demonstration Sites across the UK, to narrow the attainment gap between poorer and more affluent children. The four Demonstration sites are Newport (Wales), Margate, Feltham and Sheffield.

The Early Years Demonstration Sites will strive to offer a continuity of high impact, age-appropriate support for the learning and development of children in poverty and extend understanding about the characteristics of effective early years systems.


Our Role

  1. Marrying the insights, experience and creative thinking of local communities and practitioners with the best available evidence and academic expertise.
  2. Convening practitioners and system leaders from across the UK and early childhood academics, and consulting children and families in the Demonstration Sites and more broadly, to develop a framework for Early Years’ development and to support the use of this evidence as the starting point for the co-design of innovative local level system change across the UK.
  3. An Early Years ‘Toolkit’ will pull together the work described in points 1 and 2 above, to be used as a tool for Save the Children staff and our partners to guide strategy and activity in the Demonstration Sites.
  4. The toolkit will set out how positive early development happens, what can send it off track for children growing up in poverty, and what we can do collectively through a whole system approach, to restore and enhance it. It will provide a framework to help focus, shape and develop the work in Demonstration Sites.
  5. We will also produce a clear summary and presentation of the evidence base with the co-produced toolkit for achieving whole system change in the Early Years Demonstration Sites.


The work will take place over a six-month period, starting in May 2018, with community engagement starting from June, concluding in October 2018.

If you are an organisation with experience of supporting young people and families in any of the demonstration sites and are interested in attending the workshops please get in touch with Rosie Allen:



The Lab has been commissioned by Save The Children to undertake the work. The Lab will work in partnership with The University of Plymouth; The University of Oxford; The Centre for Evidence and Implementation; an expert panel of poverty and system experts and key stakeholders across each demonstration site, to identify challenges and co-design responses.