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Every Child a Talker: Guidance for Early Language Lead Practitioners

Every Child a Talker (ECAT) is designed to help you and your colleagues create a developmentally appropriate, supportive and stimulating environment in which children can enjoy experimenting with and learning language. It can be implemented whether children are in Early Years settings, with a childminder or at home with their parents. Through everyday, fun and interesting activities which reflect children’s interests, ECAT will encourage early language development right from the outset, extending children’s vocabulary and helping them build sentences so that before they start school, children are confident and skilled communicators
Improving practice in Early Years settings is important, but providing lots of opportunities for language learning in the home is vital – it makes the biggest difference to how well a child goes on to achieve. So as well as practitioners talking expressively to children as a matter of routine in the setting, Early Years practitioners should be encouraging the same practice by parents at home. ECAT will offer parents – fathers as well as mothers – ideas about how to support their child’s early language development such as using activities and songs, suggestions of different books, regular visits to the library and story-sharing sessions which parents can join too. ECAT will help to give you and your colleagues the skills and confidence to support parents more effectively, making good links between play and learning in the setting and play and learning at home. As practitioners, you will be talking regularly with parents about how well their child’s language is developing and will be sharing their learning journey.