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Literacy news

Our literacy campaign puts spotlight on parents

29 Feb 2012

Our new research, published on the launch of our Words for Life campaign, reveals a third of parents don’t realise they are the most important influence on their child’s language and literacy development.

Learning at home has the biggest influence on the achievement of children and is a far more accurate predictor of a child’s success than the family’s income. However, the new research with UK parents found that:

  • Nearly a third (29%) feel the most important influence on their children’s communication and language skills lays with someone other than themselves
  • 15% cite teachers as having the biggest influence on these skills
  • One parent in seven (14%) does not spend any time on a daily basis supporting their children’s literacy development, for example by singing nursery rhymes or reading with them
  • Yet, the good news is that nine out of ten (91%) parents would like to spend more time helping their child develop their literacy skills

Launching today, our Words for Life campaign and website will show parents how their daily routine supports children’s language and literacy from birth to eleven. Visit for developmental milestones, tips and fun activities for parents to do with their children to help them develop vital communication skills.

Natalie Cassidy, actress and presenter, mum of Eliza, age 18 months, and supporter of the Words for Life campaign said:

From a very young age, I remember reading as an integral part of my life. I would get home from school and sit and read with my family and friends, discovering new stories and enjoying them. Dad and I would play Scrabble on a regular basis - a fabulous way to enjoy words and mum and I would chat each day about different subjects, be it what I had for lunch, or who was coming to visit at the weekend.

Having my own daughter enjoy reading, writing and sharing her experiences with me and her dad is extremely important to me. Every night I read with her and we sing all the time! Reading has to be made fun, books are fabulous for the imagination and to help little personalities grow. Every parent should join the library, or buy just one book and share the joy of literature with their children. Happy reading!

We are urging parents to commit to spending more time helping their children develop these skills by going online at to make a pledge. Everyone pledging will have the chance to win one of twenty fantastic bags of children’s books from Walker Books.

Download motivational Words for Life printable posters here.

Tags: Children, Early Years, Early years sector, Families

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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.
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