Our Head of Sustainability, Rob Lawson recently took part in an online event hosted by TV presenter Steph McGovern to celebrate the first anniversary of the BBC’s Tiny Happy People.
Tiny Happy people is a digital hub full of simple, fun and free resources parents can use to help develop their child’s language and communication skills.
In collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and KPMG, the event was hosted by Steph McGovern. The event introduced viewers to ground-breaking research on the economic impact of investing in early years speech and language and how organisations can help make a difference.
In England in 2019, 1 in 4 (27%) 11-year-olds in England left primary school unable to read well, rising to 2 in 5 (42%) disadvantaged children. The picture is similar across all nations of the UK - Research also shows that once children start behind, they stay behind, affecting performance in school, job prospects and even life expectancy. However, evidence also shows that parents and carers can make a big difference if they’re supported in the crucial early years. And that if children develop language and communication skills before they start school, they have every opportunity to thrive.
Our charity partner National Literacy Trust, which is dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed, invited Rob to take part in the event to encourage other businesses to show their support for developing children’s literacy.
Rob said, “The event was great fun and for a really worthy cause. When children start school, they should be able to speak to their new friends in full sentences, ask teachers simple questions and understand what they’re told to do. When they have these skills they’ll feel more confident and they’ll be happier. But many children starting school across the UK today are unable to do these things. That’s why we’re supporting initiatives like these to ensure children start school with the right levels of literacy.”
PFG supports the National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme in London and Birmingham, which helps to build parents’ confidence so that they can support their children’s communication, language and literacy skills at home.
Social Impact Programme Manager Cathy Prior said, “The past 18 months have highlighted the scale of the UK’s literacy challenge. The ideas and activities on Tiny Happy People are easy to build into your daily routine. They’re quick and inspiring, but they’re also based on expert advice and evidence, and are proven to help your child’s development. Why not check out the hub to see how it can support you and your children.”