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Professionals support parents

How can professionals support parents?

The importance of the parents' role in supporting children's development of speech, language and communication skills cannot be over-emphasised. Professionals can make a big difference by providing parents with appropriate information and advice to support their children.  This section includes some suggestions and sources of further information that ALL professionals can use.  

Suggestions for professionals supporting parents

'The key to helping young children to speak, listen, read, write and socialise better lies in encouraging parents and carers to talk to them more, and to respond to their attempts to communicate. All parents wish to do their best for their children, but often lack the confidence or knowledge to implement powerful parenting practices, such as attentive listening, singing songs, playing rhyming games and sharing books. Parents need to be empowered to recognise their valuable contribution to their child’s ability to make sense of the world, through encouraging communication at every opportunity. They may not know how important (and easy) this is.

Young children are active learners and the pleasure to be gained by both child and adult in simply talking together is undervalued as a vital first step.'

Early Language Advocacy Kit for Early Years Professionals, National Literacy Trust

How can professionals support parents?

Quick Tips from 'Talk to Your Baby'

Talk To Your Baby has produced a series of "quick tips (External Website)" leaflets for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. Each sheet is available bilingually in thirteen languages. Copies can be downloaded and photocopied free of charge. Click on any of the following for a direct link to the leaflet:

What else can professionals do to support parents and carers ?

talking point logo

  • Encourage parents to attend the local Children’s Centre, or other Early Years services. A range of activities are available to provide opportunities to develop children’s communication skills and provide support for parents.
  • Refer to specialist services, using referral guidelines
  • Encourage parents to keep appointments with specialist services, and facilitate this where possible
  • Encourage parents to contact existing support groups.
  • Refer to Talking Point (External Website) for lots of information about SLCN. Talking Point has a section for parents, young people, early years workers, teachers, health visitors, GPs, speech and language therapists.

Tips for Talking Factsheets

Talking Point factsheets (external Website) give parents/carers the information they need to check their child is developing, and contain tips for them to support their children’s speech and language.

Spread the word about SLCN!

  • Tell everyone about the 'Hello (External Website)'  campaign and put posters up in public areas.
  • In January 2011, I CAN (External Website) sent every GP surgery in the UK information for parents about SLCN. The mailing included a poster for use in waiting rooms and a checklist for GPs and Health Visitors.  Make sure that your practice is displaying these posters!

Consider further professional development

The Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF0 (External Website) outlines what people who work with children need to know and be able to do in order to support children's speech, language and communication development with links to appropriate training and professional development opportunities.

© Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire PCT 2011.

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Afasic England
    Unlocking speech and language
  • Communication Trust
    Highlighting the importance of speech, language and communication across the children's workforce and to enable practitioners to access the best training and expertise to support the communication needs of all children.
  • Hello Campaign
    Here you will find what the Hello campaign is all about  
  • Language for Learning
    Provides courses and resources for staff from Early Years to Secondary Level and training and materials for trainers to deliver these courses within their own Authorities 
  • Speech and Language Therapy  
    Information from Worcestershire's NHS about speech and language therapy
  • Talk to your baby
    Encouraging parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three
  • Talking Point
    The first stop for information on children's communication.

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This page was last reviewed 24 March 2014 at 9:39.
The page is next due for review 20 September 2015.