Much to my surprise three years ago I fell so in love with the nursery my first born attended, I offered myself up to become a parent representative to work alongside the outstanding team and support them in their fab work. Shortly after, the team had become interested in using an electronic system to measure children’s development and asked me to help them sieve through the multiple options on the market. And so the search began! The choice was as varied as it was confusing. And as a relatively ‘old Mum,’ I was not as e-savvy as I possibly needed to be. So, the search took a while, was frustrating, and full of minefields. At last, I was fortunate enough to find spark and spark@HOME
I was interested that spark not only offered the nursery a secure cloud-based system to track and enhance children’s development but miraculous also enables parents to take an active role. By offering them access to this information AND letting them upload their own observations of their children’s milestones, so nursery parents and careers are working collaboratively towards helping children.
Further investigation of the opportunities spark could offer including spark@HOME for parents, the communication jotter, photo features and the opportunity to produce the most amazing baby book ever… had me sold. And fortunately, the nursery had come to the same conclusion all by themselves!
Last August, I was invited to audit the progress of children whose parents used spark@HOME and those who didn’t to see if there was any difference in the children’s progress as they were leaving for school.
After looking at all the children they ranged in ages from ‘just 4’ to ‘rising 5’, they all also attended different amounts of time. So the scope was too large to make good comparisons. However, I found two who were the most similar
They were both 4 years 8 months old and came from similar backgrounds; a nuclear family.
They both attended equal sessions and began within 8 weeks of each other.
Both children attended the same number of hours over the same days of the week at the nursery and don’t go anywhere else.
Child A- Parents had never logged on
Child B- Parents from the very start used spark@HOME
I was amazed at the results:
Overall there was 10 months difference in the children’s development.
Child A having made the most progress.
The most significant areas affected was Communication and Language and Understanding the World.