Together we can give children like yours the best start in life

If you're not a participant and are interested in findings from SEED and related research, please visit the NatCen website

Did you take part in an interview on Good Practice in Early Years Settings? Click here.

Did you take part in an interview on Meeting Children’s Health, Development and Behavioural needs? Click here.

Asked to take part in the SEED Survey? Read below.

Around 6000 families, like yours, have taken part in the SEED survey. By taking part you're helping us to really understand how childcare and early education can help children get the best start in life. Thank you. The next stage is just as important – we would like to talk to you again to see how things have changed for you and your child. 

What’s involved in the survey?

The survey interview

Once again, we’d like to ask a NatCen Social Research interviewer to visit your home. We'll be asking you general questions about your child and family, as well as updating information about the types of early education and childcare you're using and your child's development. 





The interview is much shorter this time and will only take around 25 to 30 minutes to complete.

We would also like to do some simple exercises with your child. 

These exercises are taken from the British Ability Scales, which are used widely in early years settings and schools and have been developed by educational psychologists.

They take around 10 minutes and will be carried out by your interviewer. You can find out more about these exercises below. 

No-one will have access to your child's scores and all the information collected by our interviewers will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act. 

Even if you decide that you'd rather your child didn't take part in the exercises, you can still do the interview.  


Introducing some of our researchers

Bruce, 56

I really enjoy meeting new people, so being a NatCen interviewer is an extremely rewarding job. SEED is a great study to work on as parents are only too willing to take part as they understand the benefits of helping young children to get the best possible start in life.

Exercises for your kids

Your fourth visit

We would like your child to take part in two simple exercises. 

These exercises are exactly the same as the ones your child did when they took part in SEED last time.

In the first exercise our interviewer will show your child some pictures and ask them to say what they can see.

Next the interviewer will show your child a row of four pictures and give them a fifth picture card, which they’ll then ask your child to match up with one of the four cards.

Most children really enjoy doing these exercises as they are very similar to the games or activities they might play at home or at school. 

We will not be asking children to take part in the ‘Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders’ exercise on this visit.

Our pledge to you

Our analysis and findings

The findings will help the government understand how early education and childcare can help children like yours get the best start in life. Anything you tell us is confidential. All information collected about you and your child will be stored securely. The survey results collected are for statistical purposes only – you or your child will not be identified in any reports or publications.

Data protection

Your personal details and interview responses will remain strictly confidential and will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any benefits you may be receiving will not be affected in any way by taking part in this study.   

Why take part?

Taking part in this research will give you and other families across the country the chance to influence future government policy and investment in childcare and early education. We need to involve as many families as possible in the research, so that we really understand how early education can help children get ready for starting school. Previous research has influenced government decisions, such as making 15 hours of funded early education available for all three and four-year-olds, as well as policies to strengthen the quality of childcare provision.

I don't currently use childcare - do you still want to hear from me?

Yes - we are still very interested to hear your views and experiences. The interview will cover a range of topics about you and your child. The opinions of all types of families are really important to the study.  






What parents say

Parents who have already taken part have got in touch to tell us what they thought of their interviewer:

“... lovely, great personality and really patient with my 2 year old who was home at the time.”

“... the interviewer was pleasant and friendly. He made the interview a relaxed experience without being intrusive”

How do I arrange a visit?

Book your interview

If you have received a letter inviting you to your next interview, you can book a interview time in advance. Just click on the purple button below and fill out the form. We’ll make sure your interviewer gets in touch within a few days to arrange a convenient time with you.

Opting out

If you’d like to opt out of the study, please contact us and quote the reference number on the top right hand corner of your letter.


Still got questions?

Linking your data

Make the data we collect even more useful

If you have signed a consent form during a visit from one of our NatCen interviewers, your answers will be linked to other data held on the National Pupil Database and by the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC.

It's entirely voluntary but by doing this you can make sure that SEED makes as much impact as possible.

Linking to the National Pupil Database

Linking to Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC data 


Watch the video to find out more