A Joined-Up Approach

LS__0008_Hocus Pocus Potions Fran.jpg

Working with partners to extend opportunity for Under 5s  

A strategic launch 

50 Things was launched in East Sussex in March 2019 at a conference for early years practitioners, which comprised schools and childminders and practitioners from private, voluntary and independent settings.

Over 300 people attended the event which kick-started the journey. Every delegate received a canvas bag with the 50 Things logo and an A2 poster with the activities. 

Promotion of 50 Things has been in partnership with both internal staff teams that work with families and through childcare provision and primary schools across the county.   

The activities have been promoted as ideas for home learning; engaging parents in their child’s learning and using them as ‘next steps’ with an emphasis on promoting conversation and creating memorable moments for children to recall.  

Implementing 50 Things across East Sussex: Focusing on Our Partners 

A range of resources were purchased to enable childcare provision and school reception classes to engage with parents. Each provision has been given a small, child-sized rucksack containing posters, card packs, an ideas sheet, and instructions for posting to the Facebook page.  

Bubbles and chalks were included to get them started with two of the activities. Over 500 bags of resources have been distributed. 


And a sprinkling of social media… 

Promoting 50 Things to parents has been through a year-long Facebook advertising campaign which signposts parents to the East Sussex 50 Things Facebook page, along with a direct link to the app. 

Adverts were timed to coincide with school holidays and had an appropriate seasonal theme.  The advert campaign was hugely successful during the summer months of 2019 and we saw a direct correlation between an advert being seen and the amount of activity on the 50 Things app.


Boosting family interaction 

The most popular online adverts have been those directed at grandparents.  Others highlighting 50 Things as family activities, ideas for dads and seasonal adverts have all been well liked, as well.  

Through Facebook advertising, it has also been possible to target certain areas of the county where it was noticed that there were few postcodes registered. This has enabled us to boost engagement where this has been desperately needed.  To date adverts have reached over half a million people.

50 Things in school…and a thumbs up from Ofsted 

Two East Sussex nurseries have incorporated 50 Things into their planning and have successfully promoted the activities as home learning. One was inspected recently and maintains that their grade of “outstanding” was due to the way they use the 50 Things to engage with their children and families. 

One of our infant schools has successfully used 50 Things to engage parents with Tapestry, encouraging parents to post photos of what the children have been doing at home. The teacher then displays this on the interactive board in the classroom and children are eager to talk about what they have been doing. The teacher has noted improved self-confidence in all children and better relationships with parents  

The Ofsted South Region team were very interested to hear about what 50 Things was all about.  They identified that it fits well with the new Education Inspection Framework.  

Written by

Julie Bowles 
Senior Early Years Officer 

East Sussex County Council


If you would like to discuss this case study please contact Andrea Layzell using the following contact details:

01274 543282




Washington Street,
Bradford BD8 9QW


With first-hand experience of raising young children at home, combined with a professional understanding of how children learn, Carrie Priestley is able to speak with authority and enthusiasm about…
50 Things has a strong research pedigree which continues to underpin its development. Our partnership with The Centre for Applied Educational Research (CAER) presents an ongoing opportunity for us to…
Calderdale Council took a population based, universal approach to supporting children to be school ready with the introduction of the ’50 things to do before you’re five’ project.
50 Things was launched in East Sussex in March 2019 at a conference for early years practitioners, which comprised schools and childminders and practitioners from private, voluntary and independent…
Wakefield’s 50 Things was given the green light by the Children’s Board during Covid-19, to help support families and encourage under 5’s to become more school ready.
Kirklees has a varied geography, a range of communities and a wide variety of different languages. It is made up of many communities from rural and industrial areas where there is a wide range of…
The 50 Things app and activities have been promoted as ideas for engaging Leeds parents in their child’s learning. From the outset, our focus has been on learning at home and embedding learning and…
50 Things to Do Before You’re Five in Sheffield has been funded through the City Council’s Lifelong Learning & Skills department, to provide an innovative approach that will deliver benefits to both…