Early Years Settings
Communication is a vital skill; it is crucial for learning, play, friendships, and well-being. Children’s communication skills develop rapidly during their early years. At home and in early years settings, child are constantly learning language whilst playing, singing rhymes and enjoying stories together. As children continue to grow and develop so do their communication skills. They can gradually focus their attention on activities for longer periods of time, understand slightly longer or more complicated instructions, and their ability to have a conversation will also be developing.
Children will develop at different rates, but you can take a look at children’s ages and stages of communication development on our Communication Carousel. This discusses children’s communication development from birth – age 14+, in the following key areas:
The communication skills at the bottom of the pyramid are the foundations for the skills at the top, so ‘attention and listening’ is the best area to start with when using the Communication Carousel.
The Communication Carousel also includes activities and resources linked to each area and level of development.
If you would like to check the progress of a child’s communication skills, you can use the Progress Checker on the Talking Point website. Once you have done this, you can come back to our website and look at activities for the suggested areas using our carousel.
Information about bilingualism is available in our handout ‘Your Bilingual Child‘.
Early years practitioners will find the following top tips from ICan helpful:
The Speech and Language Therapy Service for Early Years Children
The Buckinghamshire Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service works with children and young people from 0 – 25 years. We work in partnership with staff in Early Years settings. We can provide training, liaison and advice to staff working directly with the child. This enskills the key people in the child’s environment, who are then able to develop his/her communication on a daily basis. Where appropriate, we may work in small groups or individually with children on specific targets agreed jointly with the child’s family and setting.
If you have concerns about a child’s communication development, you should first discuss these with the child’s parents, use the Talking Point Progress Checker and try some of the activities on our Communication Carousel. Parents can also take a look at the Communication Carousel and play some of the games at home.