Too many children in the UK start school developmentally months behind their peers, particularly in speech and language ability. This gap often widens over time, particularly in disadvantaged groups, with children who have poor vocabulary skills at age five being less likely to succeed academically. They are also up to twice as likely to be unemployed in their thirties.

Early childhood is a crucial time for brain development, when a young, developing brain changes shape and size in response to everything it encounters. This early stage development is relatively unknown among parents, which presents an opportunity for us to break down the science in an easily accessible way for parents.

In January 2024, the Department for Education (DfE), in partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), will launch its Start for Life ‘Little Moments Together’ campaign. The campaign aims to educate parents about the importance of brain development in the first five years of a child’s life, and the crucial role they play, with advice and tips from Start for Life. Discover more here