The ELOM-Home Learning Environment tool is one of the suite of instruments developed by Innovation Edge to measure preschool children’s learning outcomes and their predictors. The Tool draws on that developed by Melhuish, E. (2010) and on the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), and adds additional items not present in these two instruments.
Data from the Early Learning Programme Outcomes Study (ELPO) was used to conduct Exploratory Factor Analysis on the Activities items of the ELOM-HLE (items 2.2.1 – 2.2.8). The sample size was 327 which is large enough to produce a robust factor analysis using eight variables. Principal Component Analysis was used to determine whether the items could be included in a single factor, Early Learning Activities.
The psychometric analysis reported here shows that ELOM-HLE items 2.2.1– 2.2.8 form a reliable and valid Early Learning Activities Scale. Items 2.1.1 (number of books) – 2.1.4, can each be described separately, or scores on these items can be summed to derive an Early Learning Resources score that represents basic early learning equipment in the home. This score was not shown to predict learning outcomes in the ELPO study.
Users may also want to use items 1.6.1 and 1.6.2 to investigate the amount of time caregivers estimate they have to spend on activities with their children. Other data derived from the HLE such as caregiver education levels may also be of use in some studies.
In sum, the ELOM-HLE is an easily administered brief instrument based on tools used internationally and which has been tested in South African low income populations. It can be used to assess the relationship between the preschool child’s home learning environment and their learning outcomes assessed on a tool such as the Early Learning Outcomes Measure.