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The Communication Trust

Help develop children’s talk with Small Talk

Learning to talk is one of the most important skills a child will ever learn. They need to be able to communicate with the people around them so they can learn, make friends, sort out problems and have fun.

Babies listen and can recognise voices before they’re born. From birth, they learn to communicate by looking at their parents, listening and taking turns. As they develop they begin to understand what people are saying, they learn how to say words and sentences and their speech becomes clear.

But learning to talk doesn’t happen by accident, it needs support from their parents to make this happen.

The booklet Small Talk can help encourage the development of a child’s speaking and listening skills and it will also explain roughly what a child should be doing at a certain age. Suitable for parents who have children between the ages of birth and 5, it explains what a child will usually be doing at their age, ways to see if they’re doing certain things and suggests things they can do with their child to support their learning.

It also has a checklist so if they’re not sure whether their child’s communication skills are on track they can use this to check.

Small Talk has been developed by The Communication Trust and is available to buy from


Family Action

Supporting all schools in England

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Through the Learning Exchange website, Family Action is supporting all schools in England that wish to set up or develop wraparound childcare on the school site for older pupils.

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Our No limits! resources, for instance, clearly show how schools can provide effective wraparound childcare for older pupils through a range of targeted breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday programmes.  


Free resources

Keep an eye out for the latest:

  • case studies, showing how schools are overcoming barriers and setting up successful wraparound childcare for their older pupils
  • events, training and funding opportunities
  • news related to childcare issues and activities for older pupils.


Find out more

Learn more about the Wraparound Childcare in Schools programme by:


OXPIP is open for applications to people wishing to train as either a parent-infant therapist or as a parent-infant practitioner.  The courses are fully funded and start in January 2013.  Three levels of training will be offered. OXPIP Trainee Parent-Infant therapist based in or near Oxford for people wishing to join the OXPIP team and learn through teaching and a supervised placement with OXPIP. The second level is for Trainee Parent-Infant therapists based in other organisations who will access the same learning opportunities but will need to arrange their own placement.  The final level is for Parent-Infant Practitioners, this is for Children’s Centre workers, Social Workers, Midwives, Health Visitors, Nursery Workers and others with some experience of working with parents and babies who wish to enhance their knowledge and understanding of infant mental health and early relationships.  Full details can be found on our website:

PIP UK is a national charity whose aim is to co-fund, develop and support new and existing parent infant partnerships across the country.  PIPs use psychotherapeutic interventions to help parents or carers form a more secure bond with their babies.  The evidence of intervening early speaks for itself – a decrease in anxiety and depression, and an increase in parent infant attachments classed as ‘secure.’  PIP UK have just allocated match funding to the first PIP sites.  Liverpool and Brighton will work with PIP UK to develop parent infant psychotherapy services within their local area.  If you would like to find out more about starting a PIP, visit or call 01604 948322

September sees the launch of the parliamentary campaign, the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto – a cross-party manifesto for the conception to age two period.  It seeks to place the first two years of life, a vital period for brain development, at the heart of policy making.  The manifesto will be launched at each party conference this autumn, with Andrea Leadsom MP, Chairman of new early years intervention charity PIP UK, championing the manifesto at the Conservative Party Conference.  Also supporting the campaign are Frank Field MP for Labour, Paul Burstow MP for the Lib Dems, and Caroline Lucas MP for the Greens.  The MPs will lobby their individual party to adopt policies which unite politicians from across the political spectrum.  A host of charities and organisations have formally endorsed the manifesto, including UNICEF UK, NSPCC and the Institute for Health Visiting.  You can access the manifesto on the MPs’ websites, and on the PIP UK website.

National Literacy Trust

Talk To Your Baby Conference 2013

Giving babies the best start: What we know works and what’s new

Monday 25 November 2013, Central London

This annual conference is renowned for its in-depth and engaging reviews of policy, research and practice. Delegates from across the early years, healthcare, education, cultural and third sectors come back year after year to learn, share best practice and be inspired.

A great line-up of expert speakers will give early years professionals the guidance and support they need to deliver outstanding provision. To find out more, visit

Achieving Two Year Olds

Achieving Two Year Olds (A2YO) is the national DfE support programme for providers and local authorities, delivered by Hempsall’s and Mott MacDonald.  A2YO’s aim is to support the implementation of free early learning for the least advantaged two year olds.  They have recently launched a FREE nation-wide roadshow for group providers, children’s centres, schools and childminders.  Over 60 roadshows will occur over the next few months across daytimes, evenings and weekends, and you are invited to come along to the next dates in the diary:

Newcastle – Gateshead Hilton Hotel – 25 November 2013

Birmingham – Thistle Hotel – 26 November 2013

Nottingham – Mercure Hotel – 3 December 2013

Wimborne – Hamworthy Club – 5 December 2013

Leeds – Novotel Hotel – 6 December 2013

London – QEII Conference Centre, Westminster – 11 December 2013

All the above events run from 9.30am to 1.00pm

James Hempsall, National Support Director says:

“Roadshows aim to offer providers, childminders and schools with all the information you need to consider whether it is right for you to offer free places for two year olds.  You can hear all about developments across the country, what you need to be considering, how to work with your local authority, and things you could or should be doing.  With free early learning for two year olds being an exciting new funding stream, there are business and funding opportunities for providers to carefully consider how to get involved.”

To book your place contact [email protected]

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