Almost one quarter of boys and 13% of girls have difficulty learning to talk, according to a YouGov online survey of over 1000 parents.
The survey found that while most children say their first word - most commonly 'dadda' - by 11 months, 4% of children still haven't said a single word by the age of three.
"The proportion of children who have difficulty learning to talk and understand speech is high, particularly among boys, said Jean Gross, England's first Communication Champion for Children.
The survey showed that their child's ability to talk, listen and understand was a top priority for mums and dads. However, almost a quarter of parents whose children suffered speech problems had no help from speech therapists.
"It is essential that all children get the help they need from skilled professionals as early as possible. The lack of this is cause for great concern," said Gross.
Gross is also worried about the role television plays in the development of language problems. The survey showed that more than a quarter of families has a TV on either 'most' or 'all of the time'. Even if children aren't watching the TV, having it on in the background makes it harder for youngsters to understand their parents' or older siblings' speech.
"Our brains have not evolved to learn from machines. Babies are primed to respond to a face, and to recognise their parents' faces," she said.
All the parents questioned did also say that they looked at picture books with their children, told them stories and sang nursery rhymes to help boost language development.
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