A major new Government programme has been launched in the city to improve the education and future job opportunities of local children.
TALK Derby aims to increase the social mobility of children across the whole city, and particularly in some of the least advantaged areas, by strengthening speech, language and communication skills.
Information and resources will be provided widely, with additional free training and support for schools, childminders, children's centres and early years settings in eight Derby wards - Abbey, Alvaston, Arboretum, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton and Sinfin.
TALK Derby is encouraging everyone in Derby to pledge to spend more time talking and listening to the children in their lives - at mealtimes, during play and through everyday conversations.
The £845,000 programme is funded by the department for Education through the Derby Opportunity Area. led by the Vice-Chancellor of Bondholder the University of Derby, Professor Kath Mitchell, and will run until September 2020.
140 people who work with local children in the eight target wards are being recruited as "champions" to drive the project forward. Trained staff will lead effective early years practice and work with parents and wider families, to encourage them to have more of the right kind of interactions with their children.
Councillor Evonne Williams, Bondholder Derby City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People added: "We know that social mobility is an issue in the city and TALK Derby is another piece of the puzzle to tackle it. The Opportunity Area has proved really valuable. The early results are really positive and I believe that this project will also prove a success."