The Age 5 Sweep examined the first year of primary schooling alongside childhood health, childcare, education, social and family circumstances.
Interviewers visited the cohort members’ homes and conducted face-to-face interviews with both parents. Parents also answered some questions via self-completion. Topics covered include family composition, housing, parental health, employment and income, parenting attitudes and activities, cohort member health, behaviour, development, leisure activities, schooling and childcare.
The interviewer conducted age-appropriate cognitive assessments with the cohort member: the story of Sally and Anne, Naming Vocabulary, Picture Similarities and Pattern Construction (all from British Ability Scales).
Cohort member height, weight and waist circumference were measured.
In England, permission was sought from parents to link Foundation Stage Profile (FSP) data collected at the end of the reception year of school, to MCS study data. As FSP is specific to England, permission was asked of parents in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to contact the cohort member’s class teacher to complete a questionnaire containing similar information to that in FSP.
As at age 3, up to two older siblings (aged 10-15) of cohort members did a short self-completion questionnaire in England. This was included to provide data for the National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund. Topics covered included leisure and extra-curricular activities, life at home, health, school, bullying and victimisation, and anti-social behaviours.