A growing body of research is pointing to how important and valuable reading is in giving children the best possible start in life, not just for academic success but more broadly including for a child’s mental health and happiness.
In this special episode of the Child of our Time Podcast, Professor Yvonne Kelly is joined by Jonathan Douglas, CEO of the National Literacy Trust and researcher Christina Clark, also from the Trust. They discuss important new evidence about the benefits of reading for individual children and in addressing social inequalities.
Child of our Time Editor Yvonne Kelly spoke to a 500-strong audience of politicians and professionals in Gothenburg recently on what matters when it comes to giving children the best possible start in life.
Yvonne was the keynote speaker at the conference hoping to identify the best strategies for making Gothenburg a more equal and socially sustainable city.
Yvonne, Professor of Lifecourse Epidemiology at the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL explained which factors are most closely linked with a child’s health and well-being and presented her research findings on children’s verbal skills, behaviour, bedtimes, reading and obesity.
Giving children the best possible start in life is the topic of a keynote talk today by our editor Yvonne Kelly.
Yvonne will be presenting a range of new evidence from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies to politicians, business leaders, and other professionals and key decision makers at an event discussing how Gothenburg can be made an equal and socially sustainable city.
Yvonne will talk about the factors which are most closely linked with a child’s health and well-being and present findings on children’s verbal skills, behaviour, bedtimes, reading and obesity. She will make the case that signs of social inequalities are evident early in a child’s life and that it is important to intervene early to tackle those inequalities.
Born in Bradford is a fascinating child health development project following the lives of thousands of children in the city. It hopes to find out more about the causes of childhood illness by studying children from all cultures and backgrounds as their lives unfold.
In this Child of our Time Podcast episode, one of the project’s lead researchers, Professor Kate Pickett from the University of York, explains more about the study, what’s in it that researchers can use, what it’s found so far and what we can expect to come out of it in the future.
Reading is key to giving children the best possible start in life. That’s what Child of our Time Editor Professor Yvonne Kelly will be telling representatives of the Swedish Government and European Commission today when she delivers the key note presentation at a seminar highlighting the importance and benefits of early interventions in children’s lives.
The seminar in Brussels has been organised by the City of Gothenburg in Sweden as part of its efforts to achieve the political goal of becoming an equal city and of its commitment to reduce inequalities.
Yvonne will be sharing research by herself and colleagues at the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies looking at factors associated with children’s poor verbal skills and behaviour problems. The research shows the links between regular bedtimes and reading with children and better outcomes for them in terms of behaviour and how well they get on at school.
Organisers of the event hope their efforts will encourage other cities in Europe to join them in their ambition to create health equality and a good start in life for all.
Can what time a child goes to bed affect how they get on at school was one of the topics under discussion in the first of BBC Radio 4’s Bringing up Britain series, which this week considered whether and how it is possible to boost a child’s IQ. The programme featured research by Child of Our Time Editor, Professor Yvonne Kelly into whether the time a child goes to bed has any influence on their reading and maths ability and spatial awareness.
Presenter Mariella Frostrup and a panel of experts discussed a range of research and views about the role of parenting on intelligence – from the effect of exercise and diet to the difference can breastfeeding, flashcards, violin lessons and superfoods really make.
When it came to looking at the effect of bedtimes, the programme interviewed Professor Kelly, who talked them through findings from her recent work looking at the effects of regular and irregular bedtimes and some 10,000 children in the Millennium Cohort Study.
Speaking on the programme, she explained that that children with irregular bedtimes did not do so well as their counterparts with more regular bedtimes and that the difference was “not trivial”, equating to a difference of around 2-3 IQ points.
The research has also looked at the effects of irregular bedtimes on children’s behaviour as well as how well they are getting on.
If you are interested in finding out more about how the bedtimes research was carried out, you can listen to Yvonne Kelly in one of our Child of our Time Research Talks here on the blog.
Children from lower income families are less likely to be judged ‘above average’ by their teachers, even when they perform as well as other pupils on independent cognitive assessments, according to a new study. Researcher Tammy Campbell from the UCL Institute of Education talks to the Child of our Time Podcast Series about how teachers may be unconsciously stereotyping their pupils.
Do more involved dads have more contact with their child in the event of a separation? And does a mother’s confidence in her ability as a parent take a knock on separation? Researchers Professor Lucinda Platt from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Dr Tina Haux from the University of Kent have been investigating these questions, using the Millennium Cohort Study, in a Nuffield Foundation funded research project looking at parenting before and after separation.
How well our kids are doing is important to us all. The better they are doing early on in life, the better they’re likely to be doing further down the line as they grow into teenagers and adults. The earlier we can get to grips with any disadvantages or inequalities faced by individuals and groups of people, the sooner we can do something about it. In this research, a team from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies has been looking at young children’s verbal abilities to see if there are any differences between different ethnic groups in how they are getting on with talking.
What are the links between ethnicity and mental health? Do children aged 7 from certain ethnic backgrounds exhibit more socio-emotional difficulties than their white counterparts? Afshin Zilanawala from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL talks to Christine Garrington about new findings from the Millennium Cohort Study.