One-day introductory training: Accelerating the impact of early years' services


Are you an Early Years practitioner, manager, funder or commissioner who would like to make a bigger difference to the lives of children and families? 

In October 2019, Dartington Service Design Lab is collaborating with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child to bring the Centre’s successful Frontiers of Innovation training to the UK for the first time. This training brings to life the latest science in early childhood development, service design and evaluation to help programmes strengthen their design and implementation – and use rapid-cycle testing for fast iteration and improvement.

Who is the training for? 

The training is ideal for anyone involved in the development, implementation, or evaluation of programs for children and families, who is interested in learning how to go beyond the best of what the field has achieved so far. These will include:

  • Early years leaders and practitioners, including programme developers

  • Central or local government commissioners or policy-makers

  • Research, academic, and think tank professionals

  • Trusts and Foundations supporting early years services.

What will the training cover? 

The training will be co-delivered by scientists and service designers from Dartington Service Design Lab and the Harvard Center. The agenda includes:

  • An introduction to three evidence-based principles to create and improve services for children and families.

  • How to build a clear and precise Theory of Change which pinpoints why, how, and for whom an intervention should work, and which can be tested.

  • How to design a high-quality programme, and supporting materials, which are grounded in science and can be delivered in the real world.

  • How to develop an evaluation plan which allows for rapid-cycle testing, iteration and improvement.

Attendees will leave with new ideas and strategies to: 

  • Identify and build programmes with the greatest potential for impact.

  • Define and evaluate the effectiveness of services.

  • Orientate their programme toward impact and reach within a local system.

What does the training cost?

The cost of the training is £250, inclusive of VAT. This includes:

  • Morning coffee and refreshments throughout the day

  • Lunch

  • All materials/handouts

Logistics and how to book:

The training will take place on the 29th of October. Registration will begin at 8.30 and the training will run from 09.00 to 17.00.

The location is Central London – an accessible venue will be confirmed in the summer. 

To download the event prospectus, with more information, please click here.

 To access the Eventbrite booking page, please click here.

Contact information:

If you’ve got any questions please drop us a line at

About the Dartington Service Design Lab

We are an independent research and design charity dedicated to improving outcomes for children and young people. We work in close partnership with those commissioning, designing or delivering services for children. Our work is grounded in data and evidence, as well as a deep understanding of public systems and the diverse needs and community contexts they serve. We create the space to think differently. We learn by doing, we learn from our partners, and we share what we learn.