Foundations for learning
Our aim is to improve understanding about language, learning and development in early childhood (from birth to around eight years of age).
Children begin their schooling with wide variations in cognitive abilities, social skills, emotional resources, and readiness to learn. These variations contribute to the large gaps that open up in educational and other outcomes between different groups of children.
As many as one in ten children have some level of persistent special needs in speech, language and communication. Over the past decade, we have supported a range of research projects on these specific speech and language delays and disorders.
In 2009, we revised our funding criteria in this area with the aim of broadening our work on early years education and development. You can see our priorities for funding in this area in the apply for funding section.
Recent projects in Foundations for learning include a longitudinal study to examine the relationship between the use of mobile phone slang and grammatical development, and a study of the impact of month of birth on child development.