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Talk To Your Baby 2017: Early Language in a Connected World

Research consistently points to early oral language skills as among the strongest predictors of educational success, and as providing a vital foundation for school-readiness and effective learning across other domains. 

- Nuffield Foundation report into Early Education and Childcare, 2015 


The legacy of Talk to Your Baby speaks for itself. The conference, that is renowned for its in-depth and engaging reviews of policy, research and practice, highlights the key role communication and language can play in improving the life chances of children.

Mother and baby communicating 300dpiChildren come into the world ready to learn language. This year's Talk To Your Baby will draw on new research and practice to consider child to parent interaction to practice in settings to community-wide approaches to increasing language and talk in the early years.

Specialist practitioners and academics come together to share their expertise in improving language and literacy outcomes of preschool children, focusing on ages 0-3.

Delegates from across the early years, healthcare, education, cultural and third sectors come back year after year to learn, share best practice and be inspired.

Chair: Jean Gross CBE

Jean GrossWe are delighted that Jean Gross, the former government Communication Champion for children, will once again chair our annual conference. A former teacher, educational psychologist and manager of local authority children’s services, Jean was, until 2005, a senior director in the Primary National Strategy, responsible for its work on overcoming barriers to achievement.  

Author of many best-selling books on children’s issues, she frequently acts as an advisor to the Department of Education and the Department of Health on their approach to early years provision. She is also a founding Trustee of the Early Intervention Foundation and a Trustee of ICAN, the children’s communication charity.


Past speakers

Jean GrossAlison Williams

Professional Lead for Community Children - Speech and Language Therapy in Gwent

Member Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Consultant for ICAN (the Children’s Communication Charity) 

Author of Speech, Language and Communication Guidance for Flying Start
careyCarey Oppenheim

Chief Executive of the Early Intervention Foundation since 2013

Co-director of the Institute of Public Policy Research

Special Advisor to Tony Blair in the Number 10 Policy Unit

Deputy director and head of research at the Child Poverty Action Group

chDr Cathy Hamer

Early Years teacher and registered Educational and Health psychologist

Has led the development of Sure Start, Children’s Centres, Early Support, early years and disability services
Naomi Eisenstadt profile 278x300Naomi Eistenstadt, CB

First director of the Sure Start Unit

Director of the government’s Social Exclusion Task Force

Trustee of Save the Children, the National Literacy Trust, the Dartington Social Research Unit, and the Trust for London


Bookings placed before New Years Eve 2016 will receive an early bird price of £195. Normal price: £245 per delegate. Network members receive an additional 10% discount.

Date, times and location

13 March 2017 from 10am-4pm (registration and refreshments from 9.15am). 
The conference will be held in The Great Hall at London Metropolitan University,166-220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB

If adults talk with children effectively—taking the lead from the child, elaborating on what they say, asking questions, sharing rhymes or songs or books— then children are given the best start in developing the cognitive tools they need to succeed at school.

-          Early Intervention Foundation, The Best Start at Home, 2015 


Illustration of a toddlerQuick links

Research: Download our free research reports
Strategic guidance paper: An approach to speech, language and communication
Initiatives: Interesting practice from the UK and abroad
Videos: Informative and useful early communication videos

Illustration of mother and babyFree resources

Download and print these free resources

  • Quick tips in 17 languages 
  • Baby's first word 
  • Bilingualism FAQ

    10/10! One of the best conferences I have attended with a wealth of input for all professionals. Excellent venue and excellent quality of speakers  

    Book your place

    Early bird price if you book before 1 January

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    TTYB 2016 Presentations

    For delegates only - attendees at our last conference should have received a login and password to access these. Please call 020 7587 3067 if you have forgotten your password.

    PowerPoint presentations and videos

    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.