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Now recruiting for an effectiveness research trial starting Autumn 2024!

What is a randomised controlled trial?

The evaluation of NELI Preschool will be run as a randomised controlled trial (RCT). The 318 eligible settings will be allocated to one of two groups at random: the intervention group (who will deliver NELI Preschool programme) and the control group (who will continue with their usual practice), to ensure that, as far as possible, there are no systematic differences between the two groups for factors that may affect children’s outcomes. This design enables the evaluator (NFER) to determine cause and effect relationships between the programme and children’s outcomes. It is essential that settings ensure that they adhere to their groups, assigned through the random allocation, and participate in all evaluation activities, in order to maintain the comparability of the two groups throughout the evaluation.

While settings allocated to the control group will not deliver NELI Preschool during the 2024-25 academic year and will continue their practice as usual, they will have the opportunity to deliver the programme in the following 2025-2026 academic year if they wish, as NELI Preschool will transition to a phase of universal availability for all nurseries.

Share information about the effectiveness trial

We’ve created this infographic to outline what’s involved in the NELI Preschool Effectiveness trial along with the full timeline for the trial.

Please share this with any PVI or state-maintained nurseries who you think would be interested in learning more and participating in the trial.

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