Father and child about 2 years old reading a book together under a duvet

The more we chat, play and read with our kids, the more we help build their brains. Anytime, anywhere, whether at home or out and about, it all adds up.

There’s no need to buy lots of toys or have big days out. Wherever you are, simply chatting back and forth, answering your child’s questions and sharing special moments together all help their brain to grow and develop secure and strong connections. Just what they need to get off to the right start at school.

The Start for Life website is packed with simple ideas from other parents on how to build these little moments into each day. It includes lots of examples of tips and activities for you to do together with your child at different ages, as well as links to find further support in your local area.

A new film has also been released to explain how children’s brains develop during the early years, and the crucial role parents play through all the little moments they spend together with their child. Watch it on YouTube at Help build our amazing brains together

Locally, we have the A Better Start Southend (ABSS) programme, which develops and tests new ways of supporting Southend’s children and families in specific posts wards of our city, with a particular focus on children aged 0-4 years old. Click here to find out more about ABSS: A Better Start

We also have our Family Centres, community resource for parents/carers, children and families. Family Centres support parents on their journey from pregnancy through to school readiness and all the milestones in between. To find out more about Southend’s Family Centres, please visit the dedicated website: Southend Family Centres

Published: Thursday, 8th February 2024