Talk To Your Baby 2022: Sustainable solutions for a connected future

How can we build on the success of current early years practice to ensure the optimum early language potential and positive life outcomes of future generations?

Join us at Talk To Your Baby 2022

Over the past few years of the Talk To Your Baby conference, we have explored the importance of the home learning environment to wellbeing and language development in the first 1001 days of a child’s life, and the important contribution of rigorous public provision.

This year we will draw together these strands to explore the national and global responses to infant care during – and pre-dating – the pandemic. Plus, following Birth to 5 Matters advice on foregrounding racial equalities in their sector guidelines, we will touch on what is being done to address racism in all forms in early years provision. We aim to celebrate the inspiring contribution being made in the early years by front-line practitioners, across the four nations and globally, while also presenting on the research behind current practice.

Confirmed speakers

  • Keynote speaker - Jean Gross. Jean is a national expert on children's issues. Until 2011 she was the government’s Communication Champion for children and young people, and in 2018 she chaired the Bercow: 10 Years On independent review.
    Following the publication of her new book, Reaching the Unseen Child, Jean will draw on examples of excellent local practice for ensuring children leave nursery with the expected level in communication and language, and provide practical strategies.
  • Liz Pemberton is the Director of The Black Nursery Manager Ltd - a training and consultancy company which focuses on anti-racist practice within early years. Her mission is to promote inclusive practice in the early early (under 5’s) education sector, with a particular focus on how race, culture and ethnicity should be considered in this practice. Liz was awarded the 2021 Community Unsung She-ro award at the Multicultural Business & Community Champion Awards (MBCC)
  • Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services in the Welsh Government. Julie's responsibilities - among many others - include early years childcare and play, early childhood education and Flying Start for 0-3 year olds. She will be presenting on the Welsh Government's response to COVID-19 in early years provision.
  • Dr Lynne Duncan Reader in Psychology at The University of Dundee. Lynne's current research provides a cross-linguistic perspective on language development in relation to visual word recognition and developmental dyslexia. She has also co-lead on the development of the eLIPS, an observational tool for use in early years settings to measure language development during play. Lynne will present on the use of the tool to identify those who are experiencing language delays for reasons linked to disadvantage.
  • Kirsty Sinclair, Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust. Kirsty will present on her team's delivery of Bookbug with young children and their families. Bookbug is Scotland's universal early years book gifting programme, designed to support children’s language, learning and social skills and inspire a love of reading.
  • Alison Fleetwood, Early Years Partnership Manager at Doncaster Council. In Jean Gross''s EIF blog, Closing the word gap: learning from five areas who have gained ground, Doncaster is cited as an example of a local area in which agencies have collaborated to achieve an attainment gap narrower than the national average.
  • Nina J. Shukla, Speech-Language Pathologist and Literacy Content Manager at the Canadian Children's Literacy Foundation. Nina will present on Early Words, the organisation's flagship early years programme which, in collaboration with key professionals within the healthcare sector, provides families across Canada with resources to support early language development and encourage a love of reading.

Attending the conference

Our Talk To Your Baby conference will be delivered online, and will take place between 9.30am and 1.30pm. Updates to our full programme and speaker list will be added to this page as they are confirmed.

Cost - £50 per person. Book your place using the form below. If you have any questions, please contact