Parents and professionals working with pre-schoolers will now benefit from free digital resources to support children’s development – thanks to an initiative launched by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the BBC.

Tiny Happy People is a brand new venture designed to tackle the pre-school language and communication gap in Greater Manchester.

Nearly 20 per cent of all children nationally and nearly 22 per cent of children in Greater Manchester arrive at school without the language and communication ability to thrive. In deprived areas, that figure doubles to almost 40 per cent across the UK

Tiny Happy People sees the BBC website providing a set of free online resources for parents in Greater Manchester to help develop young children’s language and communication skills in a bid to close this gap.

The work is part of the Greater Manchester School Readiness programme, which is funded by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, to improve outcomes for young children and their families.

The initiative is being launched for the first time in Greater Manchester this week, with plans for the programme to be rolled out nationally in 2020.

Comprising tips and advice, activities and short films about the science and facts behind language development, Tiny Happy People resources are easy to build into a daily routine and proven to deliver great results for parents and their young children.

They are designed to be quick and inspiring, and based on expert advice and evidence. You can find the resources here:

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Greater Manchester is already leading the way in highlighting the issue of school readiness, and language and communication development plays a vital role in this. We are delighted to work with the BBC to develop and roll out the Tiny Happy People initiative in Greater Manchester as it will benefit families across Greater Manchester, and provide valuable insights as Tiny Happy People goes nationwide next year.”

Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s and Education said: “Early years language is so important for every aspect of a child’s life. Tiny Happy People is a major education commitment from the BBC to help close the pre-school language and communication gap. Today is an important milestone as we roll out Tiny Happy People for the first time across Greater Manchester, paving the way for a national launch next year.”

Tiny Happy People is also designed to be used by health care workers and front line professionals as a resource to support child language development.

In Greater Manchester, the BBC is working closely with all 10 local authorities, health colleagues and Early Years leads to promote Tiny Happy People as a free resource. This includes physical resources for use in local centres as well as recruiting Tiny Happy People champions in each local authority.


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