Talking tips for toddlers

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Parents and carers in Urmston and Partington have been taking advantage of advice from early years specialists about how best to support their children’s speech, language and communication.

Events at Urmston Library and the Hideaway in Partington promoted a series of ‘Tips for Talking’ as part of a Greater Manchester-wide campaign to support early years speech and language development.

During the sessions, children and their parents and carers enjoyed a nursery rhyme story time session with Lynda Kilduff, Trafford’s Early Years Consultant. Parents and carers were introduced to the 10 Top Tips for Talking along with Tiny Happy People BBC resources and videos. Every family received a special Tiny Happy People Nursery Rhyme book to take away and read together at home.

Nearly 20 per cent of all children nationally and nearly 22 per cent of children in Greater Manchester arrive at school without the language and communication ability to thrive. In deprived areas, that figure doubles to almost 40 per cent across the UK.

If the first three years of a child’s life aren’t filled with positive attention, talking and language, they will struggle to thrive in later life, which is why speech, language and communication is a particular focus of school readiness work in Trafford and across Greater Manchester.

The ‘10 Tips for Talking’ highlight the everyday things that parents and carers can do to develop children’s speech, language and communication skills from before birth through to starting school. Videos clips from the BBC’s Tiny Happy People have been developed as part of the campaign and illustrate how parents and carers can make a difference to their children’s speech and language skills. Full details can be found on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) website.

Every nursery, childminder, school, library, GP surgery and community venues that parent and carers attend in Trafford will receive a 10 Top Tips for Talking poster. In addition, everyone who works with early years children in Trafford will be invited to sessions about the 10 Top Tips for Talking to make sure that all families in Trafford are given key messages and support about how to improve their children’s speech, language and communication.

Cllr Catherine Hynes, Trafford’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children’s Services said:

“Making sure all children and young people in Trafford have a fair start is a corporate priority for the Council and readiness for primary school is an important part of this focus.

It was brilliant to see such well-attended events taking place in Urmston and Partington, with parents and carers having great fun with their little ones while trying out different ways to encourage better speech development.

Often it’s the simple things that can make a big difference, such as using lots of repetition, giving children plenty of time to respond and removing dummies as toddlers learn to speak. The Top 10 Tips focus on these accessible things that everyone can do and give clear and useful guidance for anyone spending time with young children.”

Posted on Wednesday 6th October 2021