On the 17th of October, we are hosting an event for the thirty two early years settings who have been invited to sign up to The Early Years Speech, Language and Communication Pathway Project. The event will celebrate the many successes of the project so far and will be an opportunity to share best practices, explore inspiring and innovative activities and hear from a guest speaker from the Speech and Language Therapy team. The event will allow time to reflect on and evaluate the support offered and to look to the future of the project and what settings need next.

If you are an Early Years setting that would like to attend the event, please email Amber Howells amber.howells@eastsussex.gov.uk

THE BACKGROUND

Over the last nine months, The Hastings Opportunity Area has funded the Early Years Speech, Language and Communication Pathway Project. The programme has been helping Early Years settings in Hastings and St. Leonards in supporting families with children who have speech, language and communication needs. 

Using the resources from the Early Years Speech, Language and Communication Pathway, families have been helped with their children’s communication and language development by settings in partnership with the Early Communication Support Workers. Practitioners have received peer support to develop their work and families have been involved in 70 communication interventions so far across the settings. These have been designed jointly by the practitioners and the Early Communication Support Workers to meet the needs of the individual children and families involved.

Further to the interventions, the Early Communication Support Workers have delivered 32 team meetings focused on a particular area of speech, language and communication development. Topics for these meetings have been identified and requested by the settings. Some popular choices have been information on selective mutism, supporting children with English as an additional language and effective strategies to support listening and attention development

All this work has provided an opportunity for practitioners to gain new knowledge, share ideas, reflect on their practice and encourage the development of cultural capital for all families in regards to sharing stories and increasing vocabulary. Support has been given to effectively use the pathway resources so that settings can have meaningful conversations with parents on home learning with a communication and language focus.

October marks the halfway point of this exciting project and the Early Communication Support Workers have been reflecting on the support given and celebrating the many successes the settings have had over the last year.  Some of this has been captured with comments from practitioners and parents:

“I feel more confident to support him now.”

Practitioner

“They were crucial in helping me understand how to slow down our communication at home amongst other family members and adjust it to a 2 year olds level.”

Parent 

“I now have a better understanding of the language checker and complete them with parents with more confidence.”– Practitioner 

“I have received great advice and support and many different ideas of ways to encourage his language.”

Parent  

“I now feel that I can identify language delay earlier and I am able to support the 0-2 year olds better using the strategies.”

Practitioner 

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