Accessibility statement

Independent evaluation of Maths Champions in nursery settings to develop children’s early numeracy: A two-armed cluster randomised controlled trial

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) developed the Maths Champions programme with the aim of building the confidence and knowledge of nursery practitioners to support the development of children’s maths skills.

A previous trial found that children aged 3-4 years from nurseries that used Maths Champions made two months additional progress in maths and language, compared to those attending control nurseries. However, findings from this trial were weakened due to high attrition, so the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has funded a second, larger evaluation of Maths Champions.

Since the previous trial, Maths Champions has undergone some changes. For the current evaluation, nurseries using the programme will nominate a practitioner to be the ‘Maths Champion’ and another to take on the new role of ‘Deputy Maths Champion’. They will have access to online training, evaluative tools, and resources to enhance maths practice in their setting and build the confidence and skills of practitioners.

This project involves a pilot study, followed by a two-armed cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT), with a cost evaluation and an implementation and process evaluation. The primary aim is to evaluate the impact of Maths Champions on the maths skills of nursery children aged 3-4 years.  Secondary aims include evaluating the impact of the programme on children’s language development, as well as practitioners’ confidence to support maths development and children’s attainment at the end of Reception year of school.

Approximately 1380 3-4 year old children, from 138 private, voluntary, independent, maintained, or state school-based nurseries, will be recruited for the RCT. Nurseries will be randomised to either use Maths Champions during the 2021-2022 school year or to continue with usual nursery provision.

More information about the trial can be found here.

 Privacy Notice: How we use your research data


Funder: Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)
Start Date: July 2019
End Date: April 2024

EEF Education Endowment Foundation Lojo

National Day Nurseries Association Logo

Durham University Logo