On Thursday 12 January, McFly drummer and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd will host a special live event to explore children’s language development for BBC Tiny Happy People across social media platforms.
Produced in partnership with Speech and Language UK and broadcast simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram, the hour-long programme will offer Tiny Happy People’s audience the chance to have their questions on children’s communication answered by expert speech and language therapists live in the studio.
Dad of three Harry says that when it comes to children’s communication skills, it isn’t always clear-cut for parents: “It’s something we’re not taught about as parents. We often have to rely on our own instincts.
“There will be many beneficial things that we do for our children without knowing [it] and I think it’s important to spread knowledge and empower parents to understand things that are important for their child’s development.”
He added: “One of the most important things is for children to be able to communicate their feelings and their thoughts. That’s something we’ve really encouraged with our children. To have the vocabulary and confidence to explain what they’re feeling makes a parent’s life easier, but most importantly it makes the child’s life easier.”
Recent BBC analysis of Department for Education data found that the number of 5 and 6 year olds who need speech and language support at school has risen by 10% in England over the past year. Speech and Language UK say this reflects how the Covid-19 pandemic limited children’s opportunities for social interaction.
Joining the live event on Thursday are speech and language therapists Janet Cooper, Monal Gajjar and Louisa Reeves (who is also the director of policy and evidence at Speech and Language UK).
Louisa Reeves said: “I’m delighted to be representing Speech and Language UK, working with Tiny Happy People, as we want to reach as many parents and early years professionals as possible. There are 1.7 million children in the UK who are currently struggling with their talking and understanding of words right now.
“But the good news is that for most children who are struggling, the right support at the right time can and does make all the difference. This live session is a great opportunity to highlight to parents and early years professionals why speech and language support is crucial for all children’s learning right from an early age and where they can get support.”
BBC Tiny Happy People Executive Producer Joe McCulloch said: “For parents across the UK who have concerns about their child’s development, the BBC Tiny Happy People live event is a brilliant way to access speech and language experts at a time when demand can often exceed supply. We’re delighted that Harry, an invested parent and charismatic host, can join us for the event!”
The Tiny Happy People live event will take place on Thursday 12 January at 6pm across both Facebook and Instagram. Viewers can keep an eye on Tiny Happy People’s posts on Facebook and Instagram to submit their questions in advance or via the platforms’ comments sections during the broadcast.