10 September 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, meets one of the families involved in the initiative

Image: BBC Tiny Happy People

The RCSLT is celebrating the BBC’s UK-wide launch of Tiny Happy People, a five-year initiative, backed by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, to support parents and carers in developing the language and communication skills of 0-4-year-old children.

The RCSLT is an official partner of Tiny Happy People, which has drawn on the expertise of leading experts in child language development, including SLTs, to create resources and advice for parents and carers. The Tiny Happy People website offers a wide range of free films, articles, quizzes and parenting tips that have been specially designed to help nurture children’s language right from pregnancy.

“Early years language provides the foundation for all aspects of a child’s life – right into adulthood,” says James Purnell, BBC Director, Radio & Education. “Tiny Happy People is a major, long-term education commitment from the BBC to help close the under-fives language and communication gap and help give kids the best chance in life. We’re all so proud of it and look forward to seeing parents and carers from across the UK using the materials.”

To help launch the initiative, Her Royal Highness recently met with families involved to hear about their experiences of parenting, their contribution to the campaign and how the Tiny Happy People resources and activities have been helping them.

One of the parents she spoke with, Ryan, and his 8-month-old daughter Mia, explained how Tiny Happy People had helped him to identify that Mia has five different cries.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin, The Duchess said: “He’s learnt a huge amount from Tiny Happy People…  It’s information like that I wish I had had as a first time mum, it’s gold dust really for families to be given those tips and tools to be able to use, particularly in those first five years.”

Working with a coalition of partners, BBC Education through Tiny Happy People has the ambition to make a significant contribution to halving the number of children in the UK who do not reach the required developmental outcomes in literacy by the end of their reception year.

All of Tiny Happy People’s resources are rooted in evidence and have been developed with the help of leading experts in the fields of child and language development to ensure parents and carers are being offered the best advice. They include The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, The Institute of Health Visiting, The Royal College of Midwives, I CAN, early years practitioners through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and speech and language academics at The University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, and  LuCiD.

As part of Tiny Happy People’s launch, CBeebies Bedtime Stories will be broadcast Bedtime Stories read by celebrity supporters, Jennie McAlpine (14 July), Annie Price (15 July) and JB Gill (16 July).

Watch a selection of Tiny Happy People videos from SLTs.

For more information about Tiny Happy People, visit the website and follow the official Instagram.