In 2010 we took part in a pilot scheme called Every Child a Talker (ECaT), the pilot produced some really positive results in the development of speech, language and communication in the Early Years, and now ECaT is being rolled out to all early years settings.
This site has been set up specifically by childminders for childminders and developed alongside Dorsets Early Years Team - it covers how you can use ECaT, how you can engage with parents to support ECaT in the home and the documents, resources and idea's that will support you all on that journey. We have used materials obtained whilst on the pilot and drawn on other materials like Letters and Sounds phase 1 to put all the information you need in one place.
If you would like to share your idea's on how you successfully encourage and support children to talk, listen and understand then get in touch - we would be excited to share your feedback on the site as well.
The Every Child a Talker programme will improve the skills and expertise of early years practitioners, it will increase practitioners’ knowledge and understanding of the development of early language and will lead to measurable improvements in the early language of the children attending the settings involved. It will raise the understanding and expertise of early years practitioners across the whole setting and equip them with the (different) skills and knowledge needed to work both with both children and with parents. As well as creating an enriched language environment within settings, the programme will increase the involvement of parents in their children’s learning and will help to develop stronger home learning environments.
(National Strategies - Every Child a Talker LA Launch Event)
The short answer is you probably already do! So that's great news, because we won't be adding to your already huge workload.
ECaT covers all the good practise you already do with the children in your care, all the opportunities you give them to talk, the first hand experiences you give them to give them something to talk about, the songs you sing, the stories you read, the games you play, the words you use and the way you talk to children.
So the first thing you need to do is evaluate yourself. How well do you do do the things you do? is there more you can do in some area's? You need to audit yourself so that you can judge how effectively you allow children to communicate in your environment and make an action plan for any changes you feel you need to make once you have completed that period of reflection. Don't panic - we'll give you the audit tools you need and tell you how on the next page.
Next you need to evaluate your children, and again we'll give you the tools to do this. You might evaluate all your children and it not raise any concerns - in which case great - keep doing what you are doing and evaluate them again each term to make sure they are still on track. 'If' your evaluation does raise a concern - then we have given you some resources linking you to games to play and things to do for each of the areas on the evaluation sheet. Work with the parent and child at home and in the setting for a period of time and evaluate again - you will probably see a marked improvement just by concentrating on a specific area - but if not and you need further help - we've given you the referral process as well.
If you have any questions then please go to our FAQ, if the answer isn't there then contact us and we'll do our best to answer your question.
If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the website please send us an email at the link below: