Society-wide mission to boost early literacy and communication

Families will get ideas on how to use everyday opportunities, like going to the shops and playing make-believe games, as part of a relentless society-wide effort to improve the early literacy and language skills in the years before children start school.

Today (2 July 2019) the Education Secretary Damian Hinds will:

  • launch a new three year ‘Hungry Little Minds’ campaign to give parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games to help with early learning;
  • announce up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places, to be created in disadvantaged areas so more children can access high-quality early education, backed by a £22 million investment; and
  • set out the criteria for high quality educational apps that parents can use with their children, including promoting interactive learning and play.

While the percentage of children reaching a good level of development by the end of Reception has increased from 51.7% to 71.5% since 2013, more than one in four children still leaves Reception without the key communication skills they need to thrive. Although this occurs in all income groups, these children are disproportionately from the lowest-income families.

The Hungry Little Minds campaign will tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their child’s learning at home, including time, confidence and ideas of things to do.

It builds on work by the Department for Education and the National Literacy Trust to bring together a coalition of businesses and organisations, including the LEGO Group, Penguin Random House, Arriva and the Greggs Foundation, who are supporting parents to play a bigger role in their child’s early education.

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