Children and families

Early Talk for York

Early Talk for York information for practitioners

Early Talk for York logo

It’s easy to get involved in our 3-step Early Talk for York programme.

See further information about the 3-steps and their criteria, as well as resources for all steps:


Early Talk for York Step 1 criteria

The Early Talk for York Step 1 criteria are as follows, with detailed examples provided for each criteria.

Screen all children annually using the WellComm Toolkit, sharing this data with the local authority.

All children that the organisation is working with are screened annually using the WellComm Toolkit. The headline findings of which (Red, Amber, Green outcomes) are shared with the local authority (LA) on an annual basis.

The detailed findings are used to inform provision and practice at organisation level as well as informing work with families both universally and in more targeted ways.


Regularly attend network meetings with a focus on improving children’s speech, language and communication skills.

The organisation is a regular attendee and active contributor to network events that have a specific focus on developing early language.

Examples of such events might include a Shared Foundation Partnership with ‘sharing practice around children’s communication and language development’ as a standing agenda item, or a peer learning network established to focus on speech, language and communication development in a locality.


Work in partnership with parents and carers to support the wider development of children’s speech, language and communication skills.

The organisation promotes children’s speech, language and communication as a top priority when communicating with parents and carers.

They share the results of screening outcomes where these raise any concerns.

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Early Talk for York Step 2 criteria

The Early Talk for York Step 2 criteria are as follows, with detailed examples provided for each criteria.

Each step is cumulative, so Step 2 includes criteria found in Step 1.

Screen all children annually using the WellComm Toolkit, sharing this data with the local authority.

All children that the organisation is working with are screened annually using the WellComm Toolkit. The headline findings of which (Red, Amber, Green outcomes) are shared with the LA on an annual basis.

The detailed findings are used to inform provision and practice at organisation level as well as informing work with families both universally and in more targeted ways.


Regularly attend network meetings with a focus on improving children’s speech, language and communication skills.

The organisation is a regular attendee and active contributor to network events that have a specific focus on developing early language.

Examples of such events might include a Shared Foundation Partnership with ‘sharing practice around children’s communication and language development’ as a standing agenda item, or a peer learning network established to focus on speech, language and communication development in a locality.


Work in partnership with parents and carers to support the wider development of children’s speech, language and communication skills, providing resources and information for parents and carers to support their children’s development.

The organisation promotes children’s speech, language and communication as a top priority when communicating with parents and carers.

They share the results of screening outcomes where these raise any concerns.

They frequently provide advice, support and resources to help parents and carers support their children’s speech, language and communication skills.


The majority of your team to complete a comprehensive training package from the Speech and Language Hub or to have at least 1 practitioner with a Level 3 or higher qualification in early speech, communication and language.

Either at least 75% of the staff team have completed a comprehensive training package on early language development via the Speech, Language and Communication Hub. This has been followed up with an independent audit of practice and provision. This training must be refreshed at a minimum of every 3 years.

Or one practitioner working directly with early years aged children holds an accreditation in early communication and language at Level 3 or higher.

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Early Talk for York Step 3 criteria

The Early Talk for York Step 3 criteria are as follows, with detailed examples provided for each criteria.

Each step is cumulative, so Step 3 includes criteria found in Steps 1 and 2.

Screen all children annually using the WellComm Toolkit, sharing this data with the local authority.

All children that the organisation is working with are screened annually using the WellComm Toolkit. The headline findings of which (Red, Amber, Green outcomes) are shared with the LA on an annual basis.

The detailed findings are used to inform provision and practice at organisation level as well as informing work with families both universally and in more targeted ways.


Regularly attend network meetings with a focus on improving children’s speech, language and communication skills.

The organisation is a regular attendee and active contributor to network events that have a specific focus on developing early language.

Examples of such events might include a Shared Foundation Partnership with ‘sharing practice around children’s communication and language development’ as a standing agenda item, or a peer learning network established to focus on speech, language and communication development in a locality.


Work in partnership with parents and carers, providing resources, information and opportunities for parents and carers to discuss and explore ways they can support their child’s development.

The organisation promotes children’s speech, language and communication as a top priority when communicating with parents and carers.

They share the results of screening outcomes where these raise any concerns and offer opportunities to discuss and explore further, for example through modelling techniques and strategies families could use at home.

They frequently provide advice, support and resources to help parents and carers support their children’s speech, language and communication skills. This includes offering events such as workshops or time for parents and carers to spend in the setting to learn more about children’s speech, language and communication development.

Work takes place with partner organisations as appropriate to provide additional support and implement a range of strategies.


At least 10% of practitioners with a Level 3 or higher qualification in early speech, language and communication.

At least 10% of practitioners working directly with early years aged children hold an accreditation in early communication and language at Level 3 or higher.

The organisation maintains this ratio in response to staff turnover and it is seen as an ongoing commitment as part of the organisation’s professional development plans.

This accreditation must be refreshed at a minimum of every 3 years.


Accredited whole team training in speech, language and communication that spans at least 2 terms. Whole setting practice validated by an independent audit process.

The whole organisation’s team working with early years aged children are part of an accredited programme of training that spans at least 2 terms.

This culminates with an audit of provision and practice in the setting from an independent professional such as a peer or specialist professional. The findings of the audit are used to inform future development work.

This must be refreshed at a minimum of every 3 years or as per accreditation requirements if sooner.


Ongoing direct engagement (at least termly) with specialist speech and language professionals.

The organisation has regular (at least termly) engagement with a specialist speech and language professional to seek advice, support and guidance on practice, provision and any individual concerns arising, especially as identified via universal screening.


A relentless focus on speech, language and communication as a top priority that impacts on whole of life outcomes. Peer and social support and accountability on delivering the above.

The organisation is actively collaborating with other organisations on the development of early language. They offer support and expertise to others as appropriate.

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Early Talk for York resources

Download our resources and posters for professionals:

Early Talk for York logo downloads:

The Early Talk for York Executive Report provides more information about the development of the scheme.

Contact the Early Talk for York team for more information about getting involved.

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Also see

Early Talk for York

Children's Services, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA