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Supporting parents to build a home learning environment

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Adoption, early years, Home Learning Environment

A child and parent reading a children's book with colourful pictures and text

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at our new home learning environment campaign as well as adoption.

Home Learning Environment

Today, Tuesday 2 July, we have launched our new home learning environment campaign entitled ‘Hungry Little Minds’ which targets disadvantaged parents with the aim of improving their children’s early language, literacy and communication skills. This has received coverage from the Mail, the Yorkshire Post, Schools Week, TES and Sky News.

The new campaign is driven by the Secretary of State’s ambition to halve the proportion of children leaving reception without the communication, language and literacy skills they need in the next 10 years. The campaign will go live with a new website featuring videos, simple tips and activities that parents can do with their children either at home or out and about. The campaign will also be joining forces with a range of businesses to help spread the message.

To coincide with the launch of the HLE campaign, we also announced 66 projects that will create more school-based nursery places for disadvantaged children, through the £22 million school nurseries capital fund.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life but not everyone has family support at hand and there is no manual telling us how to do everything right.

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.


Today, Adoption UK released a report into the state of adoption, finding that three in four adopted children have suffered major abuse, violence or neglect from their birth families. This has been covered by BBC Online, the Guardian, the Mirror and the Telegraph.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

Every child deserves to have a loving, stable home that’s right for them, and thousands of adoptive families have had their lives transformed by adoption.

Adopted children are given top priority in school admissions and benefit from the support of designated teachers at school as well as pupil premium funding.

We also invested £120m in the Adoption Support Fund which provides therapeutic support to adoptive families from the point at which the child is placed with them.

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