The need for Early Words Together
The vocabulary of children from low income families can lag behind their high-income counterparts by up to 19 months at age 5 (Gascoigne & Gross, 2017). However, the home learning environment (HLE) can have a positive impact on a child’s communication and language development, and has been shown to have a greater impact on a child's intellectual, social and emotional development than the parent's education, occupation or wealth (Sylva et al, 2004). Our Early Words Together programmes give parents the awareness, skills and confidence to provide a language-rich home learning environment that supports their child's language and early literacy development.
About the programme
Since 2011 Early Words Together has supported over 9,000 families in over 50 local authorities, focussing on areas of high deprivation. Delivered to small groups of families with children aged 3-4 over six weeks by practitioners and volunteers, it empowers parents to develop and enrich the home learning environment and support their child’s early language and literacy.
An independent evaluation using standardised testing showed it to have a statistically and educationally significant impact on children’s receptive vocabulary skills and it increased the home learning environment behaviours of the parent.
The programme can be commissioned as the evidence based Home Learning Environment 3-4 Programme in Family Hubs. It is currently running in Cornwall, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Salford, South Tyneside, Southwark and Thurrock.
Early Words Together aims to support the communication, language, and early literacy of young children age 3-4 through evidence-based activities which lead to improvements in their home learning environments. Through our work with families and our CPD for practitioners and community organisations, we improve confidence and understanding of children’s language development, support sustained positive changes to a child’s HLE and create greater partnerships between practitioners and families, between practitioners in communities of practice, and between local systems. Our over-arching goal is to close the language gap among young children of different socio-economic classes and give all children the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
- Close the language gap among children of difference socio-economic status.
- Improved home learning environment for all children taking part as parents feel empowered in their role as their child's first educator.
- Educators and parents act in partnership to support the child's development.
- Networks of practitioners who use evidence-based strategies to support children’s CLL and engage parents in their child’s learning.
- Increased community expectations for children’s CLL development
We have a wealth of downloadable resources for schools, family hubs and settings delivering Early Words Together.
In Peterborough, Early Words Together for multilingual families has helped pupils improve their communication and confidence and engage parents moreLearn more about Early Words Together for multilingual families helps strengthen parental engagement at Woodston Primary School.
Through Early Words Together, Balliol Primary School has seen multi lingual children grow in confidence in the classroom and families chatting, playing and reading together more...Learn more about Early Words Together builds transformative relationships with parents in Bedford.
Representatives from St Edmund's Nursery School and Children's Centre in Bradford put together this case study to evaluate the changes for one family following five Early...Learn more about Early Words Together evaluation case study - St Edmund's Nursery, Bradford.