Skip to content

Families and Schools Together Preschool

Evidence rating
2
Cost rating
NA
Review: Foundations for Life, July 2016

Families and Schools Together (FAST) Preschool is a group-based intervention for parents of a preschool child who wish to support their child and become more engaged in their community. It can operate at a universal level, but is more frequently provided on a targeted basis to families where there is an elevated risk of child behavioural problems.

Parents and children attend eight weekly sessions delivered by teams made up of representatives from the community, including previous group members alongside professionals. Weekly meetings include a shared meal, 15-minute play session, family communication activities and parent discussion from which parents learn how to manage their stress and their child's behaviour.

EIF Programme Assessment

Evidence rating
2

Families and Schools Together Preschool has preliminary evidence of improving a child outcome, but we cannot be confident that the programme caused the improvement.

What does the evidence rating mean?

Level 2 indicates that the programme has evidence of improving a child outcome from a study involving at least 20 participants, representing 60% of the sample, using validated instruments. 

This programme does not receive a rating of 3 as its best evidence is not from a rigorously conducted RCT or QED evaluation.

Cost rating
NA

NA indicates that the information required to generate a cost rating is not available at this time.

Child outcomes

According to the best available evidence for this programme's impact, it can achieve the following positive outcomes for children:

Preventing crime, violence and antisocial behaviour

Improved behaviour (parent-report) - based on study 1

This programme also has evidence of supporting positive outcomes for couples, parents or families that may be relevant to a commissioning decision. Please see About the evidence for more detail.

Families and Schools Together Preschool

Key programme characteristics

Who is it for?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to the following age-groups:

  • Preschool

How is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to implementation through these delivery models:

  • Group

Where is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation in these settings:

  • Children's centre or early-years setting
  • Primary school
  • Community centre

How is it targeted?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation as:

  • Universal

Note: This programme is not currently available in the UK.

Where has it been implemented?

Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United States, Wales

UK provision

This programme has been implemented in the UK.

UK evaluation

This programme’s best evidence does not include evaluation conducted in the UK.

Families and Schools Together Preschool

About the programme

What happens during delivery?

How is it delivered?
  • FAST is delivered in eight sessions of 2.5 hours’ duration each by teams made up of representatives from the community, including previous group members, alongside professionals with QCF level 6/7. It is delivered to groups of families and children, typically in which an elevated risk of child behavioural problems has been identified.
What happens during the intervention?
  • FAST Preschool is a group-based intervention for parents of a preschool child who wish to support their child and become more engaged in their community.
  • Weekly meetings include a shared meal, 15-minute play session, family communication activities and parent discussion.

What are the implementation requirements?

Who can deliver it?

This programme is delivered by teams made up of representatives from the community, including previous group members, alongside professionals with QCF level 6/7.

What are the training requirements?

Not available

How are the practitioners supervised?

Not available

What are the systems for maintaining fidelity?
  • Training manual
  • Other printed material
  • Other online material
  • Video or DVD training
  • Face-to-face training
  • Supervision
  • Accreditation or certification process
  • Booster training
  • Fidelity monitoring
Is there a licensing requirement?

Not available

How does it work? (Theory of Change)

How does it work?
  • Parent–child attachment and family relationships reduce conflict in the family and improve child behaviour at home and at preschool.
  • FAST Preschool aims to improve family communication and strengthen parent’s bonds with their child, each other, their preschool and their community.
  • In the short term, FAST parents/carers have increased confidence and increased involvement in preschools and their communities. Children will be better able to self-regulate.
  • In the long term, the benefits of FAST Preschool impact on the home through better relationships and parental engagement in their child’s early education. Later on in life, this will result in improved school attendance and educational attainment. In addition, children will be less likely to misuse substances, and engage in antisocial behaviour.

Contact details

Carol Goedken
CEO
FAST non-profit organisation
cgoedken@familiesandschools.org

http://www.familiesandschoolstogether.com/  

Families and Schools Together Preschool

About the evidence

FAST Preschool’s most rigorous evidence comes from a pre/post study conducted in the USA.

Study 1

Citation: McDonald et al. (1998)
Design: Pre/Post
Country: United States
Sample: 80 families
Timing: -
Child outcomes: Improved behaviour (parent-report)
Other outcomes: Reduced symptoms of depression

McDonald, L., Payton, E., Sayger, T., & Whitfield, H. (1998). Increasing protective factors for mental health in Head Start children through outreach and multi-family FAST groups.

Other studies

The following studies were identified for this programme but did not count towards the programme's overall evidence rating. A programme receives the same rating as its most robust study or studies.

McDonald, L., Doostgharin,T., & Doostgharin, S. (2014). Families and Schools Together (FAST). Evaluation of community based FAST for 2-4 year old children and families living in poverty in 3 CRAS in 3 favelas in Brazilia for the UNODC family skills project. United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime Brazil FAST Aggregate Report.

Published May 2017