Custom made

    Involving low-educated parents in the literacy development of their young child

    The aim of the project Custom Made (Added Value to the Approach for Language Stimulation and Working on Effect during Routines with Parent-Child Programmes) is to explore how programmes that encourage low-educated parents to stimulate the early linguistic and literacy development of children can be better tailored to the needs of participating families. A consortium of researchers and practitioner partners has identified key challenges in the implementation of such programmes and has identified a number of promising opportunities. The aim of the project is to further develop and evaluate these promising opportunities.



    What does the project deliver in terms of knowledge and products?
    • Both sub-projects result in a series of articles in relevant scientific journals (e.g. Child Development, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Family Issues).
    • Project B results in a dissertation.
    • Results of the project are shared through national and international scientific conferences in the field of (early) literacy, developmental psychology, parental involvement and (early) education (Educational Research Days, Conference of the Society for Research in Child Development, European Conference on Literacy, Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, EARLI, Conference of the European Society on Family Relations). 
    • Van Steensel is a member of the Management Committee of the international COST network 'Digilitey' (funded by the EU), which focuses on research into digital media and the young child. This network is led by Professor Dr Jackie Marsh (University of Sheffield), leading researcher on this theme. Results of sub-projects B1 (on digital picture books) and B2 (on digital images) on the use of digital media in family literacy programmes will be disseminated through this network.
    • Dutch Reading Foundation is one of the consortium partners. One of the important tasks of Dutch Reading Foundation is to make scientific knowledge accessible for practice. It does this, for example, via a website ( in which the results of research into reading promotion are presented in an accessible manner, via its research publication series 'Lezen onderzocht' (Reading researched), via its biennial scientific congress, which is aimed at both researchers and professionals from practice and policy, and via the organisation of special expert meetings on a topical theme.