Every baby is born with over 100 billion brain cells and only 15% are connected up at birth. Experiences and interactions are what make brain connections and every child is born with the same huge potential.

Speech, language and communication are central life skills. They are linked to social and emotional development, learning, attainment, behaviour, as well as mental health and wellbeing. Speech refers to saying sounds accurately and in the right places in words. Language refers to understanding and making sense of what people say and communication refers to how we interact with others.

CREATING A POSITIVE HOME LEARNING ENVIRONMENT can be developed using three simple concepts:

Chat: encourage talking but crucially, reciprocal communication

Play: language thrives when children interact and explore in a playful and creative manner

Read: sharing books, parents and children talking together

Age Milestone Caregiving behaviours that support the milestone

(information taken from Department of Health Home Learning Table).

Below you will find behaviours associated with your child’s age, along with recommendations for healthy development.

It should be noted that development in young children is not linear, the age-range stated here is indicative of when a child should reach a milestone and we recognise that not all children develop typically.

Speech, Language and Communication Stage:

At around 15 weeks gestation your baby will start to hear – they may hear muted sounds from the outside world and any noises your digestive system makes, as well as the sound of your voice and heart.


Talk and sing to your baby, knowing he or she can hear you.


Further information

Children’s Aided Language Tools CHAT

Download visual cards to aid with communication (The communication Resource Centre)

What to do if your child is struggling to understand (liaise with speech therapist for this section)