The Powys Teaching Health Board is helping to support the implementation and evaluation of the Incredible Beginnings® program in their community. IY Trainer Sue Evans and IY Mentor Anne Breese have delivered the Incredible Beginnings® course to early childhood teachers throughout Powys, and Dr. Jessica Crumpton, Specialist Child Psychologist at Powys Teaching Health Board has prepared an outcomes report. They have shared their outcomes assessment with us. Here is a summary of the report:
Since its introduction in 2017 three Incredible Beginnings® courses have been delivered to 31 childcare workers from 14 different childcare settings across Powys.
The programme has been delivered by Dr Sue Evans, Consultant Child Psychologist, an Incredible Years® trainer, Anne Breese, an Incredible Years® mentor in the Classroom Dina programme and peer coach in the parenting programmes, and Emma Peace (Community Advisory Teacher, Flying Start Lead).
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme, staff attending the training were asked to choose a child anonymously who was showing a high level of need in terms of the development of social and emotional skills and to complete a Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) measures prior to the course starting and after its completion.
Following the Incredible Beginnings® programme, there was a reduction in the scores on the four areas of difficulty; emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity and peer problems. These findings suggest that following the programme, children’s emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity and peer problems had all improved. Furthermore, there was an increase in the scores on the items measuring prosocial behaviour, suggesting the childcare workers felt that the course improved children’s prosocial behaviour.
An overall “total difficulties” score is computed comprising the four problem scales; emotional problems, hyperactivity, conduct problems and peer problems. These scores are then categorised and compared against normative data.
Of the staff that completed both pre and post measures (n=21), there was a reduction in the total difficulties score and this reduction was significant using a paired samples t test.
Furthermore, there was a reduction in the percentage of scores in the clinical range (scoring 15 and above on the total difficulties scale) from 86% to 0%. This means that the majority of children were scoring in the clinical range at the start of the course and all moved to scoring within normal limits by the end of the course.