A BABY group based in Ellesmere Port has won a prestigious national award.

Sing and Sign Wirral, which encourages babies and toddlers to communicate before they can talk, won the Best Baby Signing Class category at the What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards 2008.

The event, sponsored by children’s food company Organix, is now in its second year and is supported by TV presenter mum-of-two Alice Beer.

The awards aim to celebrate the best pre-school activities across the UK as voted for by parents.

Rachel Nightingale, of Sing and Sign Wirral, said: “Last year we won the 2007 Best Nationwide Activity for the Under-2’s and we are thrilled that baby signing now warrants its very own category and even more thrilled that our classes have won.

“Helping babies’ communication is the best job I can imagine and this vote of confidence from the parents that attend our classes is very uplifting.

“This award also coincides with the celebration of our first anniversary of Sing and Sign in the Wirral and the up coming opening of new classes in Heswall and New Brighton in addition to our classes in Ellesmere Port.”

Sing and Sign Wirral use simple gestures taken from sign language which babies can learn to make their needs and thoughts known from as early as six months.

This helps to reduce frustration, increase confidence, stimulate language skills and enrich relationships by opening up a channel of communication long before babies are able to talk.

Baby signing is an extension of what babies are doing naturally when they copy the repeated gestures of those closest to them such as waving, pointing and blowing kisses.

The group help make it easy to learn the signs as classes are taught through music so babies and parents get the benefit of a music class and a signing class rolled into one.

For more information about Sing and Sign classes based at Merseyton Road, Ellesmere Port, contact Rachel on 01244 372970 or visit www.singandsign.co.uk