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Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps (2016 – 2023)

LEAP

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Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps (2016 – 2023)

An evidence-based communication and language service building literacy skills in early years children

A mum reading to her baby at a LEAP REAL session

A blueprint for Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps

This Learning Journey tells the story of Lambeth Early Action Partnership’s Sharing REAL service for parents with children aged 18 months to 4 years – and how it led to a further service for parents with babies from 0-11 months, called Supporting Babies’ Next Steps (SBNS).

Learn how we delivered an evidence-based early years communication and language service to families living in areas of greatest deprivation. Discover how working with other early years services, and implementing a Train the Trainer model, sustains these critical services.

The course was very informative and gave me new skills and ideas about literacy. I felt like my needs were listened to and that the group was very supportive.

Authors

Catherine Keal, Communication, Language and Literacy Programme Manager, LEAP.
Jo Gordon, Lambeth Early Years Schools and Educational Improvement Consultant/LEAP CLD lead.
Jacqui McDermid, Lambeth Early Years Schools and Educational Improvement Consultant/LEAP CLD lead.
Herbie Hyndley, Project Coordinator, LEAP.
Carla Stanke, Public Health Specialist, LEAP.

Who is this for?

These learnings provide a blueprint for those responsible for improving early literacy skills in their communities. This report will be useful for anyone with a professional or academic interest in communication and language development in early childhood.

The background

Good communication and language skills are an essential part of early childhood development. Children with strong communication skills are better able to interact with others, make friends and have healthy interpersonal relationships.

Children are at risk of school failure, low self-esteem and poor social skills without solid foundations in language and communication skills. 7.5% of children entering school have clinically significant language and communication difficulties. This equates to 2 children in every classroom. These children also show elevated symptoms of social, emotional and behavioural problems.

Without effective help, a third of children with speech, language and communication difficulties will need treatment for mental health issues later in life. As many as 71% of sentenced children in the youth justice system had speech, language and communication needs.

The quality of the home learning environment has a major impact on a child’s development. A child’s socio-economic circumstances are recognised as a significant barrier to strong communication, language and literacy development. Three quarters of children, who experience persistent poverty throughout their early years, start school without the language skills they need for learning.

Children living in the LEAP area of Lambeth are significantly less likely to achieve expected communication and language development than in the rest of Lambeth.

Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps aim to improve the home-learning environment and develop early literacy skills through building parent/carer knowledge and confidence about what they do with their young children. They give parents the opportunity to talk and learn from each other, as well as from the providers.

Headline numbers

Key stats about Sharing REAL with Parents:

  • 148 parents and carers reached
  • 177 children benefitted
  • 69% of parents said service had a very positive impact on their knowledge
  • 72% said service had a very positive on their confidence
  • 57% of adults and children lived in the LEAP area – of these, 93% lived in more deprived areas

Key stats about Supporting Babies’ Next Steps:

  • 104 families (112 adults + 116 children) reached
  • 63% of parents and carers lived in the LEAP geographic area – of these, 90% lived in more deprived areas
  • 69% of parents said service had a very positive impact on their knowledge
  • 78% said service had a very positive on their confidence
  • 84% said they were very likely to read to their babies every day
  • 87% said they would talk or sing with their baby every day
  • 73% said they were very likely to use daily routines to support early literacy development

Explore our full learning journey about Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps (2016-2023).

Capturing the story of LEAP’s Sharing REAL with Parents service over its lifetime

Navigate through the background, challenges, implementation and key learnings.