On Thursday 12 January, McFly drummer and Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd will host a special live event for BBC Tiny Happy People across social media platforms.
Produced in partnership with Speech and Language UK and broadcast simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram, the hour-long programme will offer Tiny Happy People’s audience the chance to have their questions on children’s communication answered by expert speech and language therapists live in the studio.
Dad of three Harry says that when it comes to children’s communication skills, it isn’t always clear-cut for parents: “It’s something we’re not taught about as parents. We often have to rely on our own instincts. There will be many beneficial things that we do for our children without knowing, and I think it’s important to spread knowledge and empower parents to understand things that are important for their child’s development.”
Recent BBC analysis of Department for Education data found that the number of five and six-year olds who need speech and language support at school has risen by 10 per cent in England over the past year. Speech and Language UK say this reflects how the Covid-19 pandemic limited children’s opportunities for social interaction.
Joining the live event on Thursday are speech and language therapists Janet Cooper, Monal Gajjar and Louisa Reeves, who is also director of policy and evidence at Speech and Language UK.
Reeves said: “I’m delighted to be representing Speech and Language UK, working with Tiny Happy People, as we want to reach as many parents and early years professionals as possible. There are 1.7 million children in the UK struggling with their talking and understanding of words. The good news is that for most, the right support at the right time can and does make all the difference.”
Launched by the Princess of Wales in July 2020, the BBC’s Tiny Happy People initiative aims to show parents how language is vital to children’s confidence and happiness as they grow and develop. The Tiny Happy People website is full of evidence-based activity ideas, advice and information to empower parents to support their children’s language development.
The Tiny Happy People live event will take place on Thursday 12 January at 6pm across both Facebook and Instagram.