I was an infant teacher for more than 30 years, and still help in school regularly. I have also brought up two sets of twins.
Over the years I have seen how verbal ability and behaviour have declined.
This is largely due to the inability of many parents to spend quality time with their young children talking, reading, singing and playing with them.
However one thing stands out, as the root of the problem, and that is the trendy modern pram or pushchair. I tried recently to buy one for my granddaughter and her new baby, and discovered almost all firms only manufacture pram and pushchairs where the baby faces forwards, and is pushed along at knee height. All the mother can see is the back of the child's head. Most mothers are not going to talk to that!
If the child is in a pram facing the mother, she is going to be motivated to talk to her child. I consider this latest fad of pram manufacturers to be one of the biggest reasons why so many young children are coming into school so far behind their predecessors. It is something that could be remedied pretty quickly.
Gillian Dutton 29 Lancet Lane Maidstone, Kent