Start for Life National Evaluation

Project outline

The government committed over £300 million to create a new Family Hubs and Start for Life programme at the 2021 Autumn Budget. The Start for Life (SfL) programme is aimed at transforming support for families in 75 upper tier local authorities (LAs) in England during the crucial first 1,001 days, with the aim of improving key outcomes for parents and infants. This study uses a mixed-method multilevel triangulation design to assess the impact and effectiveness of SfL, and to determine which interventions appear to be having an impact, for whom, and in what contexts. The study involves a process evaluation that consists of assessing changes at both a service and individual level; and ii) and an impact evaluation that will explore whether SfL improves breast feeding, mental health, and parent-infant interaction in both intervention and control sites. This will involve the collection of primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative data, alongside the analysis of national individual and aggregate level data. Counterfactual data will be obtained from sites yet to implement the service, and through the use of a Synthetic Control Method. 

Other members of the consortium include the Anna-Freud Centre, UCL and Ecorys.