I CAN… train the trainers
As a speech and language therapist with a background in children’s centres in East London, I have always held a diverse clinical caseload, as well as offering training and universal services to a variety of groups and professionals. My role in the Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) is to provide training days and materials to local leads from a variety of professional backgrounds who pair up to cascade universal courses within their own networks of practitioners. I work remotely, from Staffordshire, travelling to training days around England. So far, we have run training days in Warrington, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol, London and Newcastle, with Nottingham coming up soon.
During the two days that we deliver, lead participants (from a range of professional backgrounds) have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the courses that they will cascade, time to explore the materials that they are provided with and a chance to plan their local delivery model.
It has been interesting to hear from the lead participants about all the different ways that the programme will be run, adapting to local needs and existing provision. Many areas have already started their cascade courses, recruiting private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector nursery staff, children’s centre colleagues and health and education partners to learn more about speech, language and communication development in under threes. Some areas have been planning how to target this training within their networks to those who would benefit the most, perhaps where there has been high staff turn-over, for less experienced staff, or for those settings that are supporting some of the most vulnerable children through the two year old funded childcare places. Coming from an inner-city working background, it has been interesting to hear about some of the issues faced for those working in rural communities.
Each training pair who have attended the training days have their own unique situation and the ELDP can be delivered flexibly to suit. For example, the courses can be run as small or large groups, within settings or across networks, as “bite-size chunks”, twilight sessions or whole days, and the activities can be adapted to meet the needs of the practitioners attending. Each training pair can use their own expertise, local knowledge and existing relationships to tailor and enhance the courses for the benefit of their practitioners, and ultimately, for the benefit of children and families
by Deborah Powers, I CAN Communication Advisor for ELDP.