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Disadvantaged children who are behind in the 'three Rs' at the age of seven already have their life chances determined, according to Save the Children.

Making authentic links between reading and talking has been helping early years practitioners and teachers to develop children's communication, language and literacy. Di Chilvers explains.

Pebbles Children's Centre in Basingstoke hosted the launch of the Giant Wiggle, a sponsored conga campaign in aid of Action for Children based on best-selling children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

A project from Bookstart is offering children's centre staff a way to work more closely with disadvantaged families. Ruth Thomson explains.

Literacy is linked to a specific body of knowledge and skills, so practitioners should focus on helping children to acquire these essentials, says Vicky Hutchin.

Malorie Blackman, who has won many awards for writing books for teenagers, is the new Children's Laureate.

Enrich a child's language skills by talking about books, say Claire Bates and Helen Roscoe, Suffolk County Council Early Years and Childcare Service

Controversy over when reading and writing should be taught could persist under the revised framework.Jan Dubiel, national development manager for Early Excellence, reviews the essential principles.

To create a communication rich environment for their charges, Norland Nursery staff studied their own communication patterns. By Clare Crowther

Ability to communicate and use language is recognised as the foundation for children's development across other learning areas. By Nancy Stewart