Talk To Your Baby 2021: Bringing it all back home


Is the transformative impact of wellbeing in the early years being overlooked?

The wellbeing of young children and families has come into sharp focus in recent months following the impact of COVID-19 and global conversations around race and inequality sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Our Talk To Your Baby 2021 conference will therefore explore how we can cultivate environments that better support young children’s wellbeing through language development, while also examining the role of cross-sector engagement in enhancing the lives of young families who are most in need of support.

The home learning environment has been a guiding theme of the last two conferences and 2021 will provide a summary of those conversations and an appraisal of the progress that has been made to date.

We are looking forward to welcoming a panel of academics, frontline practitioners and policy makers from across the UK to present on and discuss best practice, local activity and the latest policy and research on early years literacy, language, communication and wellbeing.

We have decided to move the conference completely online, with attendance costing £50.

Speakers confirmed so far:

  • Keynote speaker - Laura Henry-Allain Laura is an award-winning early education expert, consultant, author and speaker. She is creator of the JoJo and Gran Gran characters, featured in the CBeebies series of the same name, vice-president of the British Association for Early Childhood Education and an education consultant for a variety of major organizations including the BBC. Laura will discuss the importance of diversity in children's books and how this can inform and promote conversations around culture and race.
  • Jamel Carly-Campbell, early years educator, consultant and children's author, will discuss the importance of representation in early years and of having a pedagogy, workforce and settings that reflect the wider world.
  • Dr Angus MacBeth, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, will explore the role of perinatal mental health as a source of risk and resilience, and its impacts upon children’s social, emotional and language development
  • Sarah-Jane James, Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the National Children's Bureau, will be presenting on Nurturing Healthy Minds, the literature and policy review exploring developments around the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children from conception to reception.
  • Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and a member of the Brookes Babylab, will be presenting on their study of the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on babies' development and wellbeing.
  • Debbie Brace, Early Language and Behaviour Consultant, will explore the work Hounslow's Let’s Talk Together early language programme has been doing to support children and families to settle in unsettling times using an attachment-informed, ‘mind minded’ approach.

Attending the conference

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, Talk To Your Baby 2021 will take place entirely online.

If you have any problems or questions, please email