Over 300,000 toddlers have never been read a nursery rhyme by their parents, study suggests

Eight per cent of children aged under five in England have never learnt songs, poems or nursery rhymes, according to a Department for Education (DfE) poll of 2,685 mothers and fathers. The Telegraph reports. 

Meanwhile, 12 per cent of youngsters in the same age group have never learnt numbers or how to count and 14 per cent – 574,928 children – have never learnt the alphabet or how to recognise words.

Ministers will launch a public information campaign later this year urging parents to “Chat, Play, Read” with their children before they start school.

More than a quarter of four-and-five-year-olds lack the early communication and literacy skills expected by the end of reception year.

The ‘expected level’ includes a child having the words and understanding to talk about events that have happened or are going to happen in the future.

A separate study shows that children with poor vocabulary at age five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary.

Earlier this year, the DfE announced that Clarks employees will be trained to speak to children as part of a drive to improve early language skills.

Staff at the shoe shop will be taught to strike up conversation with toddlers while they try on shoes, so they can practise talking and responding to questions.

Read more Over 300,000 toddlers have never been read a nursery rhyme by their parents, study suggests

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