Speech and Language UK secured as key delivery partner for next phase of Early Years Professional Development

January 19, 2023

Speech and Language UK secured as key delivery partner for next phase of Early Years Professional Development Programme.

For Immediate release 

Speech and Language UK are pleased to announce a new partnership with Education Development Trust (EDT) to deliver phase three of the DfE’s Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP).

The EYPDP forms part of the government’s £180 million Early Years Education Recovery Plan to address the continued effects of the pandemic on young children. The programme provides high-quality, evidence-based CPD to practitioners, enhancing their knowledge and skills in supporting the development of children aged 2-4

Phase three of the programme will start in February 2023 and will run over a two-year period with four separate cohorts of learners. Following the successful delivery of the first two phases of the specialist training programme, this latest iteration will see Speech and Language UK working in close partnership with EDT to deliver the training to up 10,000 early years practitioners in England.

As part of the programme delivery, Speech and Language UK have created the expert content for the Communication and Language module and will provide a trained team of highly motivated early years educators and speech and language therapists to deliver the group webinars, which will accompany the online learning.

EDT have also worked in partnership with Early Mathematics experts Dr Sue Gifford and Dr Catherine Gripton to create the Early Mathematics content and children’s mental health experts the Anna Freud Centre, to develop the PSED content.

Early years practitioners across all participating Local Authorities in England are invited to receive the training to help develop their practice and improve children’s outcomes and support their development in Communication and Language, Early Mathematics and Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).

The overall aim of the EYPDP is to train early years practitioners (EYPs) across  three modules*:

  • Communication and Language – with 7 e-learning units and 7 webinars.
  • Early Mathematics with 6 e-learning units and 3 webinars.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) with 5 e-learning units and 5 webinars.

Jane Harris, Speech and Language UK, Chief Executive, said:

“We are pleased to be working with Education Development Trust to train 10,000 early years practitioners to support children’s ‘Communication and Language’ as this will ultimately improve outcomes for children.  With at least 1.7million children** behind with talking and understanding words due to the pandemic, our new partnership means that together we can be a catalyst for change and help improve children’s futures to help them avoid mental health problems, falling behind at school and becoming isolated. We’re also excited to be supporting the delivery of the Early Mathematics and PSED modules as it’s such a good opportunity to help early years practitioners understand how talking and understanding words can support other skills.”

Lyn Challender, Programme Director, Education Development Trust, said:

“At Education Development Trust, we recognise the critically important role which early years practitioners play in enabling the best possible outcomes for the children they work with. We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with Speech and Language UK and our other programme partners,, to deliver the DfE’s Early Years Professional Development Programme. As an evidence-led organisation we know that ensuring children are given the right development support from an early age can make a real difference to their later life chances and opportunities. We are confident that the content in this programme, will support practitioners working with some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children in pre-reception settings to improve their outcomes, across the key areas of their development.”

Who is eligible?

Pre-reception practitioners and childminders from schools and private, voluntary and independent settings who offer childcare to children between two and four years are eligible, with further details available on the EYPDP website. Early years practitioners that have completed the Early Years Professional Development Programme previously delivered by Education Development Trust are not eligible.

Visit to register your interest. For all other enquiries, email


*After each module, a planning webinar will take place to assist participants on how to implement what they’ve learned in their settings.

** A recent report 1.7 million young futures‘, from Speech and Language UK found that at least 1.7 million children – almost one in five school-age children- are now estimated to be behind with talking and understanding words.

Who are Speech and Language UK?

On 12th October, 2022, I CAN changed its name to Speech and Language UK: Changing young lives as part of a brand refresh. Over the years, our focus has centred on supporting children with challenges talking and understanding words. This is now our sole area of work and an area where we hold vast expertise. We develop innovative tools and training for schools and nurseries like our Talk Boost programme. We give advice and guidance to families through our enquiry service. We run two special schools for children with the most complex speech and language challenges. This year, following consultation with professionals and families of children with speech and language challenges, we recognised our name needed to change to reflect the work we do.

For further information about Speech and Language UK, visit

Who are Education Development Trust?

Education Development Trust works collaboratively with national and local governments, schools and other partners from around the world to design and deliver sustainable solutions to improve education and transform lives. Their work is evidence informed and they invest annually in a programme of educational research.