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Early Words Together


Early Words Together is a literacy programme for Nurseries and other Early Years settings. Practitioners receive training and resources to help parents of two to five year olds to support their children's early communication and literacy.

The National Literacy Trust provides resources, training and workshops to education and community settings and services to recruit, train and support local volunteers; identify and engage target families; and support session delivery with volunteers and families.



The programme

  • Supports children’s literacy development and school readiness by increasing their enjoyment and early literacy 
  • Empowers parents to support their child’s learning, improving the home learning environment by including positive literacy behaviours in daily interactions with their child.
  • Engages volunteers in promoting the importance of literacy, empowering them within their own communities.
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The success of this programme in engaging the hard to reach families… is exactly the sort of evidence that Ofsted are looking for.
Head Teacher, St Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary School, Rochdale 


How is Early Words Together delivered?

  • Early Words Together can be delivered to an individual school or to a group of up to ten schools.
  • A trainer from the National Literacy Trust carries out 1 day of training for staff and provides all printed and electronic programme resources necessary for delivery.
  • Practitioners recruit volunteers from their community and then train them to carry out the Early Words Together programme.
  • Groups of families and volunteers meet for an hour, once a week for six weeks within an education or community setting (not in the home).
  • This six-week cycle can be repeated depending on the number of families you choose to support.
  • Staff receive one year’s membership of the National Literacy Trust Network, which provides the staff with the volunteer training presentation and all resources to support programme delivery. 


  • The cost is dependent on how many schools/settings and staff are involved and how many families each school would like to work with.
  • The minimum package is for one school/setting, with two members of staff to support 30 families, which costs approximately £2,800.
  • Bespoke models are available for areas wanting to deliver across more than 10 settings to reach more than 200 families.
  • Multiple settings can collaborate to share costs to reach more families.

This programme is ideal [for] building volunteering capacity and skills both within the workforce and amongst our citizens so that we can support other members of the community.
- Stella Clarke, Associate Director, Commissioning, London Borough of Lambeth

I needed help as a parent and found [that with] the help with the sessions and the volunteers I am feeling confident and happy.
- Parent, Croydon


Click here to read more about benefits, impact, FAQs and resources


Find out more

Download the Early Words Together impact brochure to see the benefits of delivery and how you can get involved


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.