Every Child A Talker
Background to the Project
The ECaT project has been running in Southampton since 2009; since 2012 ALL pre-schools & nurseries in the city have been participating in it as well as some childminders. The main aims of the project are:
- To improve the speech, language and communication skills (SLC) of all young children
- To develop the knowledge and skills of all practitioners about the development of SLC, so they can support children to make progress without necessarily referring them to the Speech & Language Therapy team
- To inform and guide parents about SLC development, so that with the support of knowledgeable professionals, they can best promote their children’s language skills at home
The ECaT project is delivered by a local Speech and Language Therapist and the Early Years Advisory Teachers in the city, supported by the wider development team and the local Speech Therapy team.
How we use ECaT at Little Berries
We use ECaT child audit tools to monitor how the children attending our settings communication and language skills are developing, we are then able to identify specific areas they may need to work on, which we each key person will use as next steps in their short term planning for each child.
To promote language learning our settings run small group sessions called 'Narrative Group'. These planned sessions are targeted at children who require additional support with any of the following:
- Listening and attention
- Confidence to speak out in groups
These sessions run for approximately 8-10 minutes, 3 times per week over a 6 week period.
We also use termly ECaT enabling environment audits to ensure our settings are rich in opportunities for SLC development.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your child's speech, language or communication development please speak with your child's key person or the settings Special Educational Needs Co-Coordinator who can advise you further.
The Southampton city council Early years and childcare team regularly produce ECaT information posters for parents/carers to view (see below).
The 2017 ECaT Posters will focus on Listening and Attention the posters will also incorporate a suggested activity which you could try at home!