Communication, language and literacy is the foundation of a child’s social and educational achievement and has an impact on everything. It is fundamental for development and learning. Children with poor communication skills may find it difficult to make friends and may lack vital social skills.
Lisa Houghton and Tracey Park are based in Lytham St Annes on the Fylde Coast, in Lancashire. They are both paediatric speech and language therapists, with over 30 years experience between them. They were inspired to set up Talking Tots, as for several years they had been noticing a decline in the social and communication skills of the general pre-school population.
There are many pre-school classes that focus on music, movement, dance or messy play, but Lisa and Tracey could not find any classes that focus on the all-important, complex skill of communication.
They have drawn on their extensive experience in developing children’s language and liaised with early years specialists such as teachers, education psychologists, paediatricians and speech and language therapists.
The first classes that they started became so popular that they realised they had something parents wanted and that no other pre-school groups were offering. So they decided to launch Talking Tots throughout the UK, by franchising the business. Talking Tots classes are now running across the country.
Talking Tots offer fun interactive classes to help young children develop excellent:
- social confidence
- listening & attention skills
- sharing & turn taking skills
- expressive language
- semantic knowledge (word meaning)
- narrative ability (storytelling)
- phonological awareness (to aid literacy)