Education Secretary Damian Hinds has launched a new Hungry Little Minds campaign to improve early literacy and language skills in the years before children start school.

The three-year campaign aims to tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their child’s learning at home, including time, confidence and ideas of things to do. It will give parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games to help with early learning at home.

Hungry Little Minds builds on work by the Department for Education (DfE) and the National Literacy Trust to bring together a coalition of businesses and organisations, including the LEGO Group, Penguin Random House, Arriva and the Greggs Foundation.

The Education Secretary also set out the criteria for high quality educational apps that parents can use with their children, including promoting interactive learning and play.

In addition, the DfE has announced funding for up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places in disadvantaged areas as part of the Government’s commitment to boost social mobility.

Launching the campaign, Mr Hinds said:

“Part of making sure our children have the opportunity to take advantage of all the joys of childhood and growing up is supporting them to develop the language and communication skills they need to express themselves. Sadly, too many children are starting school without these – and all too often, if there’s a gap at the very start of school, it tends to persist, and grow.”

“The only way we are going to solve this is through a relentless focus on improving early communication. So today, we’re launching a society-wide drive with new nursery places, support from business and steps to make learning easier in the home – to improve early learning across the country.”

Last reviewed 8 July 2019