Planning for and supporting SLCN in early years settings

06 June 2019

Planning For and Supporting SLCN in Early Years Settings

The Early Years SEND Partnership builds upon the legacy of Bercow: Ten Years On and delivers programmes designed to make a difference to children with speech and language communication needs (SLCN) in the early years.

One year on and I CAN has identified that, although there has been progress in key areas, more still needs to be done. Unfortunately, this applies in the early years, as well as in other life stages.

Needs have been identified in the following five crucial areas:

  • Ending the postcode lottery - for early years, this means making sure that the identification and support for SLCN in settings is consistently good, no matter where you live
  • Focusing on supporting identified SLCN - as well as the promotion of positive speech and language skills for all children
  • Ensuring that early years practitioners have the skills and confidence to identify and support SLCN
  • Developing systems to ensure that focus on spoken language is incentivised in early years settings
  • Ensuring that children are not excluded because of the way that their SLCN are exhibited, for example issues arising from associated social, emotional and mental ill health.

Kate Freeman, Speech and Language Advisor at I CAN said: 

"We are delighted to be partnering with such brilliant charities like the Council for Disabled Children, The Communication Trust, nasen and Contact as part of the Early Years SEND Partnership.

"We are already working with nasen to provide training for setting managers in supporting SEND, with half of the one-day training focused specifically on SLCN. To date, we have trained over 175 early years setting managers and are now half way through the one-day training dates, though there may still be spaces at a venue near you.

"With this type of training available, we should be moving closer to the Bercow: Ten Years On target of fully identifying and meeting the needs of children with SLCN in the early years as well as throughout other life stages".

In addition, I CAN will be providing more in-depth, free one-day training for leaders, managers and SENCos in early years settings, focusing on identifying and delivering quality support for young children with SLCN.

The training will take place at ten venues across the Midlands and North of England, between June and December 2019. It is available for those who can influence good practice in early years settings in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and the North East and North West regions with the following learning objectives: 

• Identify which children have SLCN in your setting and be aware of a range of tools to use for this purpose

• Understand the importance of including views of parents and carers in your planning

• Identify the role and responsibilities related to CYP with SLCN and monitor effectiveness in the workplace

• Become aware of a range of support strategies and interventions for children with SLCN

• Understand how support strategies have been evaluated and develop your own systems for evaluating the use of these strategies in your own setting

• Become aware of your limits in planning for and supporting children with SLCN in your setting and consider how to gain additional support for individuals and groups of children in your setting.

The training day will run between 9:30am and 4pm and will include lunch. Venues have been selected to be as accessible as possible across the 5 identified regions.

Training dates include:

Please contact to sign up and for details of other dates and venues.



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