Home Learning Support for Families

Posted by: Press Team on 23 January 2024 09:39

Families across South Tyneside are benefiting from a range of early learning programmes to help their littles ones be better prepared for school.

Family hubs across the Borough have been using the Early Words Together and First Words programmes for parents and carers to use with three and four-year-olds to help build parental confidence in the home learning environment.

Through the programmes, children receive free books while parents and carers are encouraged to spend quality time with their child through a range of language and communication focused activities. This includes sharing books and stories, singing songs and rhymes, playing with letters and sounds and drawing as part of the early stages of learning to read and write.

Cllr Ellison is pictured with Sarah Batey and her son Mason
Cllr Ellison is pictured with Sarah Batey and her son Mason

Mum-of-four Sarah Batey, 32, from Greenlands in Jarrow, who attended the Early Words Together course with her three-year-old son Mason, said: "The course was great. We read stories but also made the stories come to life by making a robot and musical instrument which Mason really enjoyed.

"Mason didn't used to like to listen to a story but now he will sit still and point to the pictures so the course really helped in that way. He has come on a lot since I did the programme."

Practitioners will be sharing resources from the recently launched Little Moments Together programme which provides advice to help parents make the most of every moment - even waiting for a bus or shopping together - to further their child's development.

Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children and Familes' Social Care said: "New findings reveal that 83 per cent of parents are unaware that their child's brain is 90 per cent grown by the age of five which really underlines the importance of the home as a learning environment for children.

"I am delighted that the Hubs are helping to support so many families improve their children's language and communication skills, giving them the very best foundation for future learning."

A total of 12 family hubs are now open across South Tyneside, offering a range of vital services in one location for families with children aged 0-19 years, and 0-25 years for children with additional needs. Acting as a 'one-stop-shop', trained staff provide a range of practical help including parenting support, advice on infant feeding and mental health as well as early language support.

To find out more about the courses, parents are advised to contact their local hub or visit


To find out more about the Little Moments campaign, visit Early learning and development - Start for Life - NHS - NHS (www.nhs.uk)


Last modified: 08 February 2024 13:42