Talk To Your Baby 2019


Please click here for information relating to the National Literacy Trust event – Talk To Your Baby 2019, which takes place in Manchester on January 21 2019.


The conference will explore the arrival of early years as a national priority, looking at the critical window of opportunity from conception to age two for language acquisition.  There will be a focus on the interplay of cognitive development and environment – home and early years settings – and how local activity, the latest research and key policy issues play into this dynamic.


Speakers announced so far are:


  • Cerys Griffiths, BBC: BBC’s early years strategy
  • Professor Ludovica Serratrice, University of Reading: Language of babies in bilingual families
  • National Literacy Trust Manchester Team: Activity in early years setting in Greater Manchester
  • Nick Skinner and Jenny Tosh, London Borough of Enfield: Singing to your baby
  • Professor Elizabeth Meins, University of York: “Mind-mindedness” and child development


The early bird rate of £175 has been extended until 19 October – book now.


Play Matters – Playing Outdoors


Playing Outdoors is critically important for children of any age and we encourage you to read the second Play Matters briefing paper which focuses on just that! Children growing up today are experiencing decreasing opportunities to play independently outdoors and this paper explores the reasons why, considers the benefits of playing outdoors for children and offers some simple thoughts and suggestions to helping encourage outdoor play.


You can view the Playing Outdoors briefing on the Department of Education’s website at


Employers for Childcare Annual Childcare Cost Survey – Have your say


Employers for Childcare have just launched their ninth Annual Childcare Cost Survey and would be grateful for input from parents, guardians and childcare providers.


The survey explores the cost and provision of childcare and how this impacts on families but also the cost and provision of childcare from the perspective of childcare providers. It is the most extensive study of its kind in Northern Ireland and is widely used to inform political debates and policy development in relation to the affordability of childcare, and service delivery – and we hope will continue to be useful to the work of the Childcare For All campaign moving forward.


Last year’s results showed the average weekly cost of a full-time childcare place was £168, almost 40% of average household income.  Yet at the same time, while 59% of childcare providers reported they were just breaking even or making a loss, the majority (77%) had chosen not to increase their fees.  This it is anticipated the survey will emphasise how essential the childcare infrastructure is to parents here whilst highlighting how the ongoing strain of rising living costs such as food, clothing and heating, coupled with the cost of childcare, can impact negatively on families. This year, Employers for Childcare are also interested in finding out more about the experiences of families who rely on grandparents to provide childcare.


The survey can be found here – :


You can also find it on twitter and facebook: