The impact of COVID-19 on communication and language development

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A small but significant number of children may be attending Bolton settings needing more specific support to develop their communication skills.

The BBC reported this week that lockdown has ‘hurt child speech and language skills’. Lockdowns hurt child speech and language skills - report - BBC News.  As we support our children during the recovery period, it’s vital that we recognise the impact lockdown may have had on communication and language development.

A small but significant number of children may be attending our settings needing more specific support to develop their communication skills. We know how crucial early communication and language skills are in supporting all learning across the EYFS and so we need to offer the right support to our children and families at this time.  

Here in Bolton we have our Integrated Communication and Language Pathway which supports all professionals to recognise and implement early intervention in a multiagency way. Bolton Early Years Integrated Communication and Language Pathway – Bolton Start Well.  We also have a designated team of education and speech and language professionals within the Early Years Communication and Language Development Service (EYCLDS) who are focused on improving language outcomes across Bolton. Our identified Communication Champions are able to access regular CPD events focused on utilising the rich toolkit of resources available to support you as you aim to provide the best quality interactions and language rich opportunities for our children. One element of this is our evidence based WellComm toolkit which enables us to recognise children’s current development needs and deliver appropriate interventions in conjunction with families.  

Many schools have also embraced the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) and it’s great to see it is continuing to be supported by Government into the 2021/22 academic year for reception aged children 62,000 reception-age pupils in England to take part in early language programme | News | Education Endowment Foundation | EEF.

For more information and support around communication and language development services available here in Bolton, please contact the EYCLDS on 01204 338349 and access our range of CPD events via the Bolton Start Well Webpage Courses – Bolton Start Well.

 

 

Published: 4th May 2021