HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talks to BBC Breakfast during the launch of BBC's "Tiny Happy People" on July 13.
BBC states that when children start school all across the UK, they are unable to speak to their new friends in full sentences, ask teachers simple questions and understand what they’re told to do. This happens due to the fact that in England, 1 in 4 children starting primary school are behind with their level of literacy development (language, communication and literacy skills) by the time they start primary school, rising to more than 1 in 3 (42%) in some areas (Department for Education, 2019). The picture is similar in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland too. Research by the National Literacy Trust prove that once children start behind, they stay behind, affecting performance in school, job prospects and even life expectancy.
Language and communication skills unlock literacy, and that’s why Tiny Happy People is concentrating on the building blocks of language development. Their ideas and activities are said to be easy to build into families’ daily routines. They’re quick and inspiring, but they’re also based on expert advice and evidence, and are proven to help the child’s development. It includes a range of online activities on their platform, including parenting tips, films, articles and quizzes launched to help parents and carers develop the communication skills of their young children, right from the start of pregnancy. The free films, articles and quizzes explain the science behind baby brain development. They include fun activities to do with both babies and toddlers to support language development and parent wellbeing, along with tips for new and soon-to-be parents.
While talking to BBC Breakfast during the launch, the Duchess addresses this massive gap in support given to parents after the first few months of a child’s life until they start school, stating that she has experience it herself as a mother. She also spoke about the difficulties of life in lockdown for so many, but said one of the “silver linings” might be that we revalue how important our relationships are.
The scheme was initially launched in Manchester last October, and Catherine has been involved for several months. She lately met families at Sandringham to hear about how they had found the activities. The duchess helped in the character and background development for two animations on parenting, which are now available on the Tiny Happy People website, about making eye contact with babies and singing to babies.
We also added the images during the BBC launch to our photo gallery, plus the cover of today’s The Times issue (July 14), which features the Duchess during her interview.