The Home Learning Environment

Supporting the Home Learning Environment

Parenting and the quality of the home learning environment has been found to have a greater impact onHLE children’s achievement than any other aspect of children’s lives. What parents do with their young children at home, is the single most important factor in helping children learn and develop, it is more important than social class or parental qualifications. The effects of positive early home learning experiences have been found to benefit children’s educational attainment into secondary school. 

The home learning environment is not just about learning opportunities available. It includes relationships parents have with children and experiences children have with their families.

Early years practitioners are in an excellent position to inform, support and guide parents in helping children to learn at home.

This page is designed to provide settings information to share with parents. It includes ideas for activities, resources and advice to enhance the knowledge and skills of parents and carers.

You can find more information in this short video clip: Foundation Years Vodcast: Tips to improve the home learning environment | From pregnancy to children aged 5 years


Seasonal updates

National days and events

Getting out and about


Family Hubs Guide to What's On

Bolton Family Hubs Guide Front Cover Image April - Jul

Families can find out what’s happening at their local Family Hub and other locations in Bolton by taking a look at the Bolton Family Hubs Summer 2024 Guide to What's on (Activities begin week commencing 15th April 2024). Printed programmes are available in Family Hubs, Libraries and other locations whilst stocks last.

The programme can also be accessed on the Bolton Council website which is enabled with a ReachDeck toolbar to support greater accessibility. For example, a user can highlight text to read aloud, or translate pages into other languages. When visiting the council page, look for the 'red and white ReachDeck logo' at the bottom right hand corner of the screen; click on it to enable its use.




Community Library Launch

Join the Get Bolton Reading Campaign!

Dear Early Years Practitioners,

I'm thrilled to share some exciting news with you! As part of our ongoing efforts to promote literacy and a love for reading in Bolton, we've recently opened two new community libraries (at the Farnworth and Alexandra Family Hubs).

HLE pages - Images of the Community Libraries

These libraries offer a wealth of resources and opportunities for families to enjoy and swap books together. By promoting these libraries to the parents you work with, you'll be inspiring them to engage their children in the wonderful world of reading.

At our recent launch event Family Hub Practitioners successfully introduced the benefits of reading with children to 25 parents in Farnworth and 50 parents in Alexandra. Now, we're eager to continue spreading the joy of reading to even more families!


Here's how you can help:

  • Encourage parents to visit the community libraries at the Farnworth and Alexandra Family Hubs, where they can discover new stories and enjoy quality time with their children.
  • Additionally, remind parents of the value of joining their local libraries for access to even more reading resources and opportunities.

Together, let's make reading a cherished activity for families across Bolton!

For more information or assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Thank you for your dedication to promoting literacy in our community.

On the literacy page can you find more ideas to reading development Bolton Start Well - Learning and Development: Literacy.

Hannah Brown
Senior Family Hub Practitioner


Start Well Story - April 2024 

Focus book: We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Communication and Language Development

Physical Development

These resources are good for developing motor skills. Bear Hunt Yoga | YogaBugs

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Exploring emotions: how would you feel if? Early Learning Resources We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Story Sequencing Flashcards (


Safety for Days OutHLE


Supporting the prime areas of learning

Communication and Language 

Physical Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific areas



Understanding the World

Expressive Art and Design

Bolton resources

Other resources

Online Safety 

Screen Time

Home Safety

Car Safety

First Aid

Healthy Eating

Oral Health



In the spotlight

In this section we spotlight what is working well for settings and good examples of practice.

We would love to see your ideas to support parents and other practitioners. Please send ideas to (mark email 'In the spotlight').

Don't forget to use the hashtag #earlyyearsinBolton in your Facebook and Twitter posts, so that we can see the great work you are doing and maybe feature it in this spot!

Red Lane Primary School - ideas to support home learning

"We recognise and value that parents are children’s first educators and have a prolific impact on their children’s education. We understand the important role they have played in their children’s education so far and the role they will play in educating their children in the years to come. We therefore seek to involve our parents and carers fully in their child’s educational journey.  

Here at Red Lane we take great pride in supporting our parents and wider families with home learning. We know that developing children's communication, personal social and emotional development alongside their physical skills is essential, so this is always a priority for us. All children have home learning activities which are prepared by the staff, relating to the topics they learn in school. Nursery rhymes are sung in school and copies of these are sent home to support parents at home. 

Over the years we have prioritised personal social and emotional development. We support parents by creating toilet training and dummy packs which are sent home each half-term with families, based on their child's needs. We know that these skills are challenging and we offer our parents as much support as possible. 

We also have a range of take home bags which are designed to help parents develop communication skills at home. We offer story bags with a high quality text and props alongside phonic bags which support early reading skills." 

Vicky and Rhian, Red Lane Primary School.



Guidance and documents to share with parents and carers

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents - Published by the East London Research School and the Department for Education (DfE) - published September 2021. Why not signpost parents to learn more about their child's development by sending out pages 100 - 103 of the guidance?

Home Matters: making the most of the home learning environment - Published by a consortium of charities, funded by the Department for Education (DfE). This is guidance for schools, nurseries, local authorities and public health partners. See working with parents from page 15 for some helpful ideas to supporting families in the home learning environment.

Birth to 5 Matters - This document supports parents to understand the stages of development from birth through to five years using the guidance published by Early Education on behalf of the Early Years Coalition.

The Education Endowment Foundation talk about the impact of parent engagement projects and how to implement successful strategies in your setting.