DfE approves early years apps

Parents are set to benefit from new technology to support their children learning at home, with six new apps available to improve reading, writing and speaking.

The apps - published on the Hungry Little Minds website – are part of the government’s drive to help parents make informed decisions about the use of technology in creating positive learning environments at home. The apps cover activities ranging from interactive story books, handwriting exercises using artificial intelligence, and educational video games, and all meet agreed criteria, including elements of play, interaction and ranging levels of difficulty.

The technology announcement comes as new data reveals three quarters of children aged five and under have used smartphone or tablet apps at least once in the last six months to learn.

New research by the Department for Education claims that early education at age two for disadvantaged children is found to have a positive impact on their speaking ability, with learning at home contributing to this.

The data highlights the important work by the government to tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their child’s learning at home, including time, confidence and ideas of things to do. The Hungry Little Minds campaign gives parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games to help with early learning for their children from age 0 to five.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The first few years of a child’s life are crucial in equipping them with the skills needed for the classroom, and we are working with families to make it easier to weave early learning into daily activities. We know that the majority of families are using technology in fun and visual ways to support their child’s early education, but it can be difficult for busy parents to work out what content is best. This list of expert-approved apps helps them make confident decisions that benefit their child’s language and literacy skills.”