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
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
- 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
- Refer to specialist services, using
- Encourage parents to keep appointments with
specialist services, and facilitate this where possible
- Encourage parents to contact existing
- 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
Tips for Talking Factsheets
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
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
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.
Unlocking speech and language
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
- 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
- Talk to your
Encouraging parents and carers to talk more to children from birth
The first stop for information on children's
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This page was last reviewed 9 October 2013 at 14:41.
The page is next due for review 7 April 2015.