Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

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Start for Life

Learning to talk

We want to encourage parents and carers to chat, play and read more with their children to develop their communication, language and literacy skills before starting school. We want to support and empower parents to do more learning and play activities with their children and help overcome the key barriers we know they face, such as lack of time, confidence and not knowing the types of activities that are beneficial. The reality is that these activities take little time, can happen anywhere and can easily be interwoven with daily tasks. And, ultimately, it is as rewarding for parents and carers as it is for their children.

For a break-down of advice and guidance based on the age group of your baby or child, visit the NHS Better Health Start for life page.


Have your say

Help us improve the local information on this website and give us feedback about any contacts you have had with our service by completing the Devon Public Health Nursing feedback form.

ChatHealth Logo

Devon County Council runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens. You can also call our Public Health Nursing hubs on the numbers listed below.

If you are concerned about the safety of a child in Devon, contact our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email with as much information as possible.

This page was last reviewed on 01-11-2022

This page will be next reviewed on 01-11-2025