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Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) demonstrates success

Emerging findings from the ELDP have just been released: These demonstrate that the cascade system for sharing knowledge and skills is having an impact.

89% of lead practitioners surveyed felt that the training had provided them with the knowledge to cascade early language principles to local practitioners. And 94% of local practitioners (who had participated in training from lead practitioners) reported that the ELDP helped to improve their practice.

Case studies produced by the Office for Public Management (OPM) identified changes to practice including:

  • Adaptations to setting environments and activities.
  • Improved interactions with parents.
  • The use of innovative ideas to support early language development.

 OPM carried out baseline surveys looking at parents’ knowledge and awareness of how they can support their children’s early language development.  Parents were then surveyed at a later stage to identify any changes.  The survey results show that, following training, there has been an increase in reported levels of knowledge and awareness regarding early language development:

  • 92% of parents and carers rated themselves as ‘very or fairly confident’ in knowing what to do to help their child to talk.
  • 83% of parents and carers rated themselves as ‘very or fairly confident’ with their own knowledge and awareness of what to expect from their child learning to talk, (an increase of 15%).
  • 83% of parents and carers reported their knowledge about supporting children to learn to talk had increased compared to a year ago.

Pre and post training questionnaires for local practitioners were also analysed by OPM.  These questionnaires showed an increase in confidence, knowledge and awareness levels from 26% pre-training to 76% after training.  In addition, 92% of practitioners reported they felt the training had increased their ability to identify those with language delay.

Most importantly, the combination of practitioners’ increased knowledge and awareness and the improvements in parent and carer knowledge / awareness and confidence were felt to be impacting on children’s SLC development.  An ‘enriched’ environment for early language development both within settings and in the home has been reported.

Information from the case study sites back up these findings, with emerging evidence of impact on individual children:

“The support was really good, it has really helped him, his language has got much better…I wouldn’t have known that reading to your child helps them to talk and that it is hearing words constantly which helps…Now I say words related to what he is saying to extend his language” (Parent, Case Study, Northamptonshire)

“We’re seeing a dramatic change… With one child they’ve only been with us since October…that child wouldn’t have made eye contact, they were communicating using one word and now they are asking simple questions and linking a lot of words to objects too.” (Practitioner, Case Study, Bolton)

“It’s impacting on [the children’s] development, we monitor this every term and we can see improvements for children who need support; they are making great progress.”  (Practitioner, Case Study, Cornwall)

Existing case study information can be found on the newly upgraded ELDP website – www.talkingpoint.org.uk/early-language-development-programme-eldp-0

New case studies are currently being written with information due to be available in December 2013.