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Talk, listen and cuddle and the home learning environment

Talk, listen and cuddle

Visit and share the TLC website and please like and share our Talk, Listen, Cuddle Facebook page

Our Talk, Listen, Cuddle (TLC) campaign aims to engage families and practitioners in supporting early language and communication development through positive home learning experiences for all children from pre-birth to five. We work with many different agencies from family hubs and libraries to health visitors and foster carers.

You may have seen our fabulous rhyme cards already, which have been a huge success with families and continue to be shared across Essex. Other resources have been created for both professionals and parents to use and engage our youngest children in language-rich experiences.

Downloadable resources

The resources below are available on the TLC website. For hard copies email:

Walk and Talk at home - a pack of five cards with key strategies and fun ideas for supporting language development indoors!

Walk and Talk Out and About - a pack of five cards with key strategies and fun ideas for supporting language development outdoors!

Hand Full of Rhymes - a pack of six top nursery rhymes as voted for by parents in Essex!

TLC for New Babies - six specially designed images and cards to support communication in all new babies' routines.

School Readiness Height Chart - activity ideas for parents to support learning at home and out and about. Can be transformed into a height chart displaying key skills required for children to be ready to learn.

50 things to do before you're 5 - home learning experiences and activities which help children to develop key skills for learning

The home learning environment (HLE)

It is vital that parents and carers are involved in their children’s learning and development. Contributions that parents make through sharing information about their child are crucial if we are to help them to become effective partners in learning.

Read about the important role of the family in this Families in the Foundation Stage Evidence Pack published by the Department for Education (DFE).

Action for Children has developed What to expect, when? A parents guide to help parents / carers understand their child's learning and development in the first five years.

Some years ago the Government commissioned research to help identify the most effective strategies which early years settings could employ in supporting parents to develop children’s learning at home. The findings identify best practice, help quantify the benefits of support to parents and offers suggestions about how to make best use of resources. Read the Government's Provider Influence on the Home Learning Environment and also part 2 published on the Coram Family and Childcare website.

Hungry Little Minds

This new Department for Education campaign encourages parents and carers to adopt positive activities and behaviours to boost children’s communication, language and literacy development. The three year campaign launched with social media and online adverts in July 2019. It aims to help parents understand that they have a massive impact on their child’s learning and that reading, playing and chatting with them is a simple thing they can do to help them develop even when they are too young to say much back. Parents can access tips and activities from the Hungry Little Minds website.