About First Words Together
Adapted from National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme, First Words Together supports babies and toddlers who may need early help with speech, language and communication before the age of two.
Babies communicate long before they start to talk, through gestures, showing and giving objects, pointing and vocalising. Sharing books and interacting through books from when babies are very young supports communication and language development. This universal programme builds parents’ and carers’ awareness and confidence in supporting early communication leading up to babies’ first words.
The programme also builds knowledge and confidence in early years practitioners and professionals. Practitioners are trained to deliver weekly sessions that include evidence-based, fun activities based around five top tips, to build the foundations of communication that parents can easily repeat in the home. This then encourages positive change to a child’s home learning environment.
Each week families are gifted a free book linking with the session, so by the end of the programme families will have built a mini library in their home. Speech and Language Therapists are employed on the project too, offering support and advice for practitioners and families taking part.
The sessions, alongside an associated behaviour change campaign are currently running across the West Midlands and North East of England, as well as in Rochdale and Cornwall.
Thousands of families have taken part so far, the impact of which is being externally evaluated by the Centre for Research in Early Childhood. Read key findings from our work in Birmingham and Cornwall.