Sharing books and talking with your child from the moment they are born gives them the best possible start in life. As a parent or carer you have a very special role to play. You don’t have to be an expert to help your child reach their full potential. You can do so much through everyday activities that really make a difference and help develop your child’s skills in speaking, listening and writing. Chatting and speaking together develops listening and speaking skills, sharing books inspires children to love books and want to learn to read and noticing signs and words out in the street helps children understand the world around them.

The following pages will look at the different milestones you may expect your child to be reaching at their age but it is important to remember that all babies and children are different and your child will develop in their own way.

If you are concerned about your baby’s speech, language and communication contact your Health Visitor or Children’s Centre. They may suggest a hearing test or a visit to your GP. If you are concerned about your child you should contact your child’s school or local speech and language therapist and talk to them about your child. You can contact a speech and language therapist yourself, you do not need to go through your GP or health visitor.