Help in catching them young

26th September 2003 at 01:00
I write to thoroughly endorse the views expressed by Rachel Langton on children entering school in her letter (TES, September 12), not only as a student on a primary education course, but as a mother of two children.

Almost a year ago, having embarked on this three-year course, I began to discover many facts about how children acquire various skills, particularly language skills. I commented at the time to a non-student friend of mine who also has children, that I could not understand why such important information regarding child development and factors affecting it was not provided for new mothers.

I naturally spent time talking to each of my children from their earliest days, encouraging use of books, singing etc. but this was not because I really knew why these were vital factors to enable my children to develop and be prepared for school - I just did them. I would have been delighted to have received a pamphlet in 1994 which gave specific reasons and information about preparing children for school because this is when my first daughter was born. As Rachel Langton says, many families do support their children, but this is not universal and a "brief, carefully worded" pamphlet available on maternity wards, or distributed by health visitors who provide guidance to new mothers, could surely do more good than harm.

Hopefully, it won't take another nine years for the right person in the relevant government department to decide that this is in fact a very good idea. We live in hope.

Virginia Price

31 Buckley Close


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