FREE tips to help parents build bonds and their babies’ brains are being shared with even more families across York thanks to a new partnership.

The NSPCC’s Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign has been running in York since 2020, when City of York Council began sharing its messaging, encouraging parents to sign up to receive free emails and tips.

Since then, the campaign has been adopted by nursery workers and childcare professionals across the city and has now been taken on by volunteers at Home-Start York.

Maria O’Keeffe, Home-Start York scheme manager, said the service’s 40 volunteers supported more than 110 families in the city last year, offering help and support in weekly visits during the first five years of a child’s life.

More than three quarters of the service’s volunteers have already undertaken Look, Say, Sing, Play training and have begun weaving the NSPCC’s tips into their sessions with families.

Maria said: “Look, Say, Sing, Play is a really positive tool for our volunteers to use. Having that resource available helps our volunteers to share easy tips with mums and dads who might not otherwise have the confidence to try them.

“We’ve spoken to parents who’ve said to us they lack confidence around not being the best mum they could be, and something as simple as having the Look, Say, Sing, Play cards gives them clues or guidance they might need to help engage with their little ones. In turn, that helps the baby’s brain develop, builds a stronger bond between the parent and child, and leaves a smile on everyone’s face.”

The campaign encourages parents to Look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, Say what they’re doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, Sing along to their favourite tune and Play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.

Helen Westerman, NSPCC head of local campaigns, said Home-Start York’s use of Look, Say, Sing, Play would help even more families across the city, but the campaign is open to anyone who wants to find out more.

Helen said: “We are so pleased that the wonderful volunteers at Home-Start York have adopted Look, Say, Sing, Play as part of their support for families with babies across the city. It’s such a simple campaign, but the science behind it shows it can have huge benefits for parents, carers and babies.

“It can be difficult for mums, dads, grandparents and carers to think up new ways to keep babies engaged, but just recognising that using silly voices, playing, singing or having two-way interaction with a baby can help their mind grow is a big step. It’s brilliant that Home-Start York are introducing Look, Say, Sing, Play to new families, and we’d love to hear from anyone who wants to find out more.”

To find out more about Look, Say, Sing, Play, or to sign up for the free tips and support, go to or