Last reviewed 28 February 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) has approved six early years apps to support children’s home learning.

Following a competition to find the best educational apps for young children, a panel of experts has approved six apps with a focus on early literacy, language and communication.

The apps are published on the Hungry Little Minds website which gives parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games to help with early learning for their children from birth to five. The apps cover activities ranging from interactive story books, handwriting exercises using Artificial Intelligence, and educational video games.

The announcement comes as new research reveals that three quarters of children aged five and under have used smartphone or tablet apps at least once in the last six months to learn.

The apps form part of the Government’s drive to help parents make informed decisions about the use of technology in creating positive learning environments at home. They all meet agreed criteria, including elements of play, interaction and ranging levels of difficulty.

The expert panel who accredited the apps was chaired by Professor Jackie Marsh of the University of Sheffield and included children’s digital media consultants, early learning charities and researchers at universities.

Gavin Williamson, education secretary, said:

“The first few years of a child’s life are crucial in equipping them with the skills needed for the classroom, and we are working with families to make it easier to weave early learning into daily activities.”

“We know that the majority of families are using technology in fun and visual ways to support their child’s early education, but it can be difficult for busy parents to work out what content is best.”

“This list of expert-approved apps helps them make confident decisions that benefit their child’s language and literacy skills.”