Speech and Language Development

Assignment (a/c 2.3)
Explain how levels of speech and language development vary between children entering early years provision and need to be taken into account during settling in and planning.

It is important for any child care provider to be aware of the stage a child should have reached in their speech, language and communication skills at different milestones in their life.   Being equipped with this knowledge allows the carer to tailor activities to help children to develop these skills or to speak with the parent if they feel the child would benefit from additional support from an outside body such as a speech and language therapist.

There are many factors that need to be taken into account when looking at a child’s speech and language development.   Children come from various different backgrounds and cultures, it may be that English is not the first language spoken in the home and a child learning two or more language may be less fluent in one language than other children of a similar age.   Other children may have little to no interaction in their home life and may have language delay.

Practitioners need to be made aware of any issues with a child’s speech and language development if known from the outset.   This should be done at the initial interview with the parent to allow the practice to identify needs and put measures in place to help and support the child when they come to the setting.

It is important that a child feels safe and secure in a setting before any separation takes places.   If English is not their first language or they have an additional need the child needs comfortable with the person taking care of them otherwise additional delays in their language development may arise.   The key person caring for the child needs to build a close relationship with the parent of the child, finding out how they communicate at home and perhaps taking the time to learn some of these skills.   Even if a child is able to communicate effectively...