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Talk Boost

Government Fund focuses on developing early language and speech skills.

  • Posted On: 3 July 2018
  • Author: Stefanie Cappleman
  • Number of views: 481
Talk Boost

Parents who need help teaching their children reading, writing and language skills will get practical help such as home visits and online tools thanks to a £6.5 million scheme announced today (1 July).

Voluntary and community groups will get a share of the multi-million pound fund to run projects that help disadvantaged families and children with additional needs, building on the free childcare offer already available to the most deprived two-year-olds. These children are more likely to struggle with language and literacy skills when they arrive at primary school than their peers.

Studies have shown that helping parents and giving them the confidence to work with their children on speech and language is one of the most effective ways to ensure children arrive at school with the right foundations for a successful education.

Projects that can bid for the funding could include home visits from trained early years professionals, to help parents support their children in learning new words through simple steps like reading and singing nursery rhymes. Or they could involve easy-to-use online tools that help broaden the vocabulary parents use with their children in these early years.

Research shows that where there is a ‘word gap’ – the gap in communication skills between disadvantaged children and their peers - it can have a long term impact on a child’s education.

Previous successful bidders from the scheme include the National Literacy Trust, a charity that trains early years staff and volunteers to work with families, building parents’ confidence so that they can support their children’s communication, language and literacy skills at home. The Trust used the grant funding to set up Early Years Together at 2, a programme which invites parents and carers into the nursery to watch how children learn, and gives them practical ideas of how they can continue this learning at home.

Winning projects will be announced later this year and go live in October, running until 2020.

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