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Evaluating Look, Say, Sing, Play

Lessons learned from the NSPCC’s campaign to encourage responsive parenting

Publication date August 2022

Look, Say, Sing, Play (LSSP) aims to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect by educating parents about the importance of interacting with their babies.

Delivered both locally and nationally to parents of babies aged 0-2 years, LSSP provides parents with tips and resources which encourage and improve interaction in their everyday routine and boost their child’s development.

Two years after implementing LSSP, we carried out an evaluation using a mixed-methods approach. This included surveys, interviews and focus groups with parents and practitioners who used the LSSP resources. The evaluation considers:

  • how parents used the resources with their babies
  • the impact on interaction between parents and their babies when using the resources
  • how local campaigns were implemented, and whether this affected how practitioners used the resources with parents.

Authors: Vicky Gilroy, Victoria Jackson, Rachel Stephen, Jenna Charlton, Christina McKean
Published: 2022

“Campaigning for more responsive parenting” – lessons learned from the NSPCC’s Look, Say, Sing, Play, campaign
Download the full report (PDF)
"She used to really just not like being in the bath. So I think the tip about engaging her through babbling sounds and using the sing-song voice has really helped."

Parent who used the LSSP resources with their baby

Key findings

Parents used the LSSP messages and resources to be more interactive with their children

Parents who participated in the evaluation were positive about the materials and used them to be more interactive with their children.

Not all parents used the LSSP materials every day with their children after accessing them

We surveyed parents about how often they carried out the activity of ‘looking’, ‘speaking’, ‘singing’ and ‘playing’ with their babies. For each activity, around one half of surveyed parents did not carry out an activity daily, with ‘looking’ being the activity that most parents did less than daily.

Local campaign partnerships used four approaches to delivering LSSP messages and tips

  1. single agency approach –one organisation delivering LSSP messages and tips
  2. scattered approach – several interested organisations using the LSSP resources in their work
  3. connected approach – organisations creating implementation plans (although the plans were not linked to a local strategy)
  4. fully integrated – organisations creating implementation plans linked to local strategic priorities.

The connected and fully integrated approaches appeared to have the most impact on the use of LSSP by parents and the greatest opportunity to reach more parents.

There is potential to reach more parents

We’ve identified the following for consideration:

  • translating materials for parents into other languages
  • sending out messages and tips on social media platforms that are used more by younger parents (such as Tik Tok and Instagram)
  • organisations delivering LSSP in their local areas promoting the NSPCC’s weekly brain-building tips email that includes videos for parents.

Please cite as: Gilroy, V. et al (2022) “Campaigning for more responsive parenting”: lessons learned from the NSPCC’s Look, Say, Sing, Play, campaign. London: NSPCC.

“Campaigning for more responsive parenting” – lessons learned from the NSPCC’s Look, Say, Sing, Play, campaign
Download the full report (PDF)