Following a new report for Nick Jr. by the National Literacy Trust, Nick Jr. and Blue’s Clues & You! will take part in Early Words Together programmes.
A report compiled for Paramount as part of a wider partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Blues Clues & You! shows that parents of young children engaged in fewer home learning activities in 2021 than they did in 2019, despite spending more time with them at home during the coronavirus lockdowns.
A survey conducted for the National Literacy Trust in 2021 asked 1,562 parents of children aged up to five-years-old across the UK about how often they carried out seven key home learning activities: reading, chatting, playing, singing, painting/drawing, looking at the alphabet and playing outside the home (e.g., at a library or play group).
The findings revealed an overall trend of fewer parents engaging in all seven home learning activities in 2021 compared to in 2019, despite spending greater periods in the home and with their children due to restrictions put in place to fight Covid-19.
The study asked parents about their activities over the previous week, finding that only half of parents said that they read with their child at least once a day in 2021 compared with two thirds in 2019.
The negative effect of Covid restrictions on the learning development of young children has been established by studies such as a new Ofsted report (2022), which looked at education recovery in early years providers, and found that the pandemic had affected children’s communication and language development.
The Education Endowment Foundation’s study echoed this, revealing the negative effect of pandemic restrictions on the vocabulary development of young children due to them being less exposed to conversations and everyday experiences in more typical education settings.
In response to this growing problem, Nick Jr. and Blue’s Clues & You! are partnering with the National Literacy Trust to run Early Words Together programmes in some of the most affected areas in the country. With toolkits and activities inspired by Blue’s Clues & You!, the programmes are proven to help children’s early language and communication and phonological awareness skills.
Venetia Davie, vice president, UK & Ireland at Paramount Consumer Products said: “The Early Words Together programme is a wonderful way for young children across the UK to have fun with their favourite Blue’s Clues & You! characters whilst learning vital language and communication skills to help them prepare for school and beyond.”
A further 500 Early Years Settings nationwide will also receive free Blue’s Clues & You! learning materials and activity guides to improve their skills, both within their setting and at home, to build parent’s confidence as their child’s first teacher and help their children be ready for school.
Kirsty Cunnington, Programme manager for Early Years at the National Literacy Trust, added: “The Early Words Together programme is dedicated to reaching and supporting parents and carers to create an engaging and lively home learning space and giving them the knowledge and skills to confidently help young children overcome the obstacles of the last two years.”
You can the full report here.