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How do babies learn to talk?

The Conversation.
Author:   Interim Leader MARCS Institute BabyLab, Western Sydney University
“Babies are born ready to learn and although they don’t “talk” in the first weeks of life, they know how to communicate what they are feeling. They do this by crying. And it is something they do a lot before they produce words. Babies begin to learn the rules of language as soon as the little bones inside their ears and connections to their brain have grown. They can hear the rhythm and melody of their mother’s voice for three months before they are born and this changes the way their brain develops.”  

‘The early years of a child’s life is the optimal time to lay the foundations for learning.’

The Spoke

Early Childhood Australia

Why getting early education right is so critical for children & our future

The future of Australia rests on early education. Early Childhood Australia’s (ECA) National President, Christine Legg talks about children’s early development and why Australia needs to invest in and support a high-quality early childhood education system. If you imagine a child’s brain as a five-drawer filing cabinet, research indicates that the majority of those drawers are already filled by the time the child turns five. ECA National President, Christine Legg, says this analogy is a powerful illustration of the importance of quality early childhood education. ‘The early years of a child’s life is the optimal time to lay the foundations for learning,’ Legg says. ‘The first five years are crucial at setting them on the path towards lifelong success as an adult. And success isn’t only measured by occupation or income—it’s also about individuals contributing to society as a whole person.’



Stories with family benefit everyone

January 22, 2019
We just love this special moment captured on camera between 18 month-old Edgar and his granny. You can see them both relishing the experience and it’s also clear Granny knows exactly how to make the most of her time with her grandson. Here’s what we love:
Follow the link to First5Forever to find out more.

Six things you should do when reading with your kids

The Conversation. August 20, 2018 “There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories.”

Technology and Talking

Kids Who Use Smartphones Start Talking Later

TIME magazine   “Growing evidence suggests that screen time may have some negative consequences for young children’s development. In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much. For every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The research, which was led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.
MORE: Here’s How to Decide How Much Screen Time to Give Kids “What these results show is that if parents are trying to address their child’s language development with educational apps, it’s probably not working on a population scale,” says Dr. Jenny Radesky, assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ executive committee of the council on communications and media.”