The BBC and Cornwall Council are partnering to help improve the language skills of under-fives as part of a new national campaign.
Tiny Happy People is a five-year initiative backed by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. It aims to support parents and carers in developing the language and communication skills of their 0-4 year old children.
This will be achieved through a range of free digital resources, including fun activities, videos, articles and quizzes specifically designed for the initiative, with a focus on everyday routines.
Developing communication skills at an early age helps children to thrive
Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “We are delighted to be working with the BBC on this project, which fits perfectly with the work we’ve already being doing through our Real Heroes Read Books campaign.
“We all want the best for our children; supporting them to take every opportunity and we can do this by helping them develop their language skills. Sadly, too many children are starting school without these skills – and all too often if there’s a gap at the very start of school, it tends to persist and grow.”
Evidence shows that more than 1 in 4 children (27%) in England do not reach the necessary level of literacy development (language, communication and literacy skills) by the time they start primary school, rising to more than 1 in 3 (42%) in deprived areas. The picture is similar across all nations of the UK.
Cornwall is an official Tiny Happy People Hub and we have been working closely with BBC to share the Tiny Happy People resources with parents and professionals via social media during lockdown.
At the heart of the project is a simple philosophy – talk to your children from as early an age as possible, including during pregnancy.
Head of Early Years at Cornwall Council Carol Kimberley said: “We are really excited about this opportunity and to be working with the BBC team. Our teams have already been sharing the information with early years providers and families and the feedback has been excellent.
“Encouraging children to learn to love and explore their language skills is one of our core aims and in so it will help them throughout life”
Tiny Happy People offers a huge library of evidence-based free resources that are proven to have a positive impact on the speech and language development of 0-4 year olds. They’ve been developed and quality assured by front line professionals and experts.
The content is fun and easy-to-understand as well as to incorporate into everyday life. There are fun activities and a range of short films, articles and quizzes that will support language development, as well as great tips for new and soon-to-be parents and advice to support parent’s well-being.