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:
We work with Family Centres across Buckinghamshire to provide training, liaison and advice to staff to support children in their community.
Early Years Settings
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 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.
Early Years Setting Advice Sessions
Early Years setting advice sessions with a Speech and Language Therapist can now be accessed remotely. The sessions offer access to advice in order to enable staff to support children with speech, language and communication needs within the setting. The therapist will advise you on how to write their advice directly into the child’s SEND support plan.
What you can expect:
- To tailor the advice to individual named children parental/ carer consent is needed prior to setting requesting a session. Anonymous sessions will be given where parent/carer consent has not been given.
- Up to 4 children can be discussed in each session.
- Each session lasts up to 45 minutes and can be accessed via Microsoft Teams
To request a session please email us the completed Early Years setting advice request form which can be found below. Please email your request for an advice session with the completed document to Bucfirstname.lastname@example.org with the title ‘SALT Early Years Advice Session’ in the email subject line. Once this document has been received an advice session will be scheduled with you. Sessions will be running between Monday to Friday.