A Better Start Southend
Are you an ABSS family?

Research, along with knowledge and using evidence, is a key characteristic of A Better Start Southend.

It is crucial to everything we do.

It is the way in which we will learn about the impact that our services have made on our children and families.

We ‘test and learn’ from evidence and science based services and activities as well as innovations:

  • Science-based – Based on best available evidence, but not yet tested in its own comparison study
  • Evidence-based – Found to be effective in robust comparison studies e.g. Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs)
  • Innovation – New and untested service or activity that has a theory of how and why outcomes might be achieved

    (See: Theory of Change)


This process is supported by our service design and evaluation frameworks.

Our regular Research Bulletin is one of the ways that we show how we might use the latest research to influence early years’ policy and practice. It also gives an opportunity for you to help shape the way that we test and learn in going forward.

Find out more about the national evaluation and how were using learning for the A Better Start programme as a whole.

In late 2018 the Big Lottery Fund (now The National Lottery Community Fund) published a Programme Briefing collectively covering all five A Better Start sites in the country, with information about what the programme involves, as well as indications of early achievements. You can read this here.