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Lytham, 9 July 2008: Talking Tots, the UK’s leading provider of communication classes for toddlers, has urged the government to improve speech and language services for young children, following the publication this week of the Bercow Review of Services for Young People.

“The Bercow Review clearly shows that half of all children starting school don’t have the communication and language skills they need to succeed, and one in 14 have more serious speech, language and communication (SLC) needs. At present, families are struggling to access the support they need. Thousands of children are being short-changed every year because they don’t get the help they need at an age where it will be of the greatest benefit,” said Tracey Park, co-founder of Talking Tots and an experienced paediatric speech and language therapist.

The number of pre-school children with speech and language problems has increased substantially in the last decade, but there is a lot that parents and early years workers can do to help develop children’s communication, adds Lisa Houghton, co-founder of Talking Tots. “The good news for parents is that helping to boost your child’s communication and social confidence isn’t rocket science. We advise parents to spend lots more time talking to children, using games, songs and rhymes to help build children’s vocabularies and develop their awareness of words and sounds.”

Talking Tots provides classes across the UK for children aged from 12 months that use fun games and activities to help boost all children’s communication skills and social confidence. The company was created in 2005 by Tracey Park and Lisa Houghton, both experienced paediatric speech and language therapists. Talking Tots classes launched nationwide in September 2007, and are now available in 20 towns and cities across the UK.

About Talking Tots:

For further information about Talking Tots, please see www.talkingtots.info

To request interviews with Tracey Park or Lisa Houghton, please contact the press office on (01253) 731 986 or 07923 504 514. Talking Tots can provide case studies of children with speech and language delays, who can talk about their experiences. Please contact us for more details. Images are available on request.

Talking Tots recently won the “Best Innovation” award in the 2008 What’s on 4 Little Ones Awards, and was commended in the “Best Toddler Development” category.

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