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Monthly update for communication, language and literacy

About our monthly updates

Our monthly updates provide information and resources for early years practitioners to support communication, language and literacy developments.

September 2023

This month our Come Talk with Me Top Tip is:

Look after your child’s teeth. Healthy teeth and gums will help your child make clear speech sounds.

Dental decay is a serious problem in young people, and it is largely preventable. The government’s National Dental Epidemiology Programme survey for the school year 2021/22, reveals that almost one in four young children have experienced tooth decay by the time they are five, amid concerns that children and families are struggling to access NHS dentists.

The Pacey Oral Health guidance sets out some key resources to help you support oral health in your settings.

Speech and Language UK

Teachers now estimate 1.9 million children are behind with talking and/or understanding of words. This is the highest number ever recorded. Read this new report from Speech and Language UK Listening to unheard children for their findings and recommendations after surveying more than 1,000 teachers across the UK.

Education Endowment Foundation

The Early Years Evidence Store includes two key themes, communication and language and personal social and emotional development. This provides evidence-informed approaches to help educators to understand and reflect on practice. The approaches are illustrated with a range of information and videos of what these might look like in practice.

This new vodcast Implementing evidence-informed practice in early years – communication and language discusses how the evidence store is being used to support work with young children.

August 2023

This month our Come Talk with Me Top Tip is:

Copy the sounds your baby makes. This will help them learn how a conversation works and about taking turns when talking.

BBC Tiny Happy People

As we enter into the summer break many families may be planning a journey with their little ones. And while it might be understandable to reach for devices like tablets while confined in a car, train or coach, help parents to think of going on a journey as time for chatting and playing games with their child. Share this blog from Tiny Happy People for ideas on how to keep children entertained on long journeys, whilst also helping their learning.

Words for Life

To help prepare your child to start school or nursery Words for Life have  put together a list of favourite starting school and nursery books.

July 2023

This month our Come Talk with Me Top Tip is:

Try not to ask your child questions that start with ‘why’. They can be hard for young children to answer, so start with ‘who’, ‘what’ or ‘where’ instead.

Remember to use questions carefully and spend more time commenting on what children are doing. Please see the Hand Rule and Guidelines for Good practice from the NHS Dorset Healthcare Speech and Language Therapy Service web pages

Words for Life

Did you celebrate National Writing Day? Words for Life have put together some top tips supporting children with their early literacy skills

Help children develop the physical skills they will need for writing, by getting active crawling, dancing and jumping to build muscles and coordination. Develop their vocabulary by chatting about anything and everything. Read and explore lots of different books and stories together, even try making up your own! Let them draw, make marks and write with different materials, pencils, chalk, pens, water, paint and mud.

Accessing further support for Speech, Language and communication

If you have any concerns about a child’s speech, language or communication, please see the Further Support section of the website. This page provides information about the Speech and Language Therapy advice drop ins and Come Talk with Me, a group for children with up to a years delay.

The Balanced System website, also provides further information about local and national resources and initiatives to support children and families.

June 2023

This month our Come Talk with Me Top Tip is:

“Use positive comments when your child says a new word. This will help your child know they are being listened to”.

Take part in this exciting research project 

Speech and Language UK would like to understand more the impact of their Early Talk Boost intervention. Taking part will give eligible settings the opportunity to deliver the intervention for free and carrying on into the future too.

The targeted intervention is aimed at 3 and 4 year olds with difficulties talking and understanding words. Find more information about the project in the link above or fill out the expression of interest form to register.