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About ECAT and News

Every Child a Talker is also known as ECAT. ECAT began as a National Strategy that was introduced across England. ECAT in West Berkshire is currently funded by the local authority. The initiative is faciliated by two Early Language Consultants. Louise Griffiths is a teacher and Tamsin Rycroft is a speech and language therapist. ECAT focuses on encouraging the communication skills of young children through work with pre-school settings. The whole team working in the setting is involved in supporting ECAT and they have a lead practitioner (known as an ELLP) who attends termly cluster meetings. Each setting that is involved in the initiative has three goals that they are working towards:

1. Identifying and supporting children who may be 'at risk of delay';

2. Developing the knowledge and skills of all of the practitioners who work within the setting;

3. Helping parents to understand the stages of development of speech and language skills and how they can encourage their child's development.

If a child is having difficulties with their speech, language and communication skills, it can impact on their education and their long term future.


October 2020: No Pens Day Wednesday is back on 25th November! Sign up for your free activity pack now.

Check out the Lenny and Lily books which have been developed to help support discussion around the current situation. Albert and Social Distancing is a another resource which was created locally in Newbury.

September 2020: Access to the early years speech and language therapy service in Berkshire has changed. Please see the CYPF website for further information.

May 2020: Article ''Skills like oracy will be even more vital after Covid''
Information poster for parents - Helping Home Learning

April 2020: New sources of information for families...
50 things to do before you are five
Look, Sing, Say, Play - your interactions shape your baby's brain development
BBC Tiny Happy People - your words build their world

December 2019: New websites and advice for families...
Hungry Little Minds: Activities for kids from newborn to 5
Small Talk: Little ways to make a big difference (National Literacy Trust)
Video - Chat, Play and Read

April 2019: Inspiration - Illminister Avenue Nursery in Bristol - check out their Facebook page for loads of photos
Nursery in Bristol removes toys to improve creativity
A nursery school in the UK has banned all toys - find out why (radio podcast)

April 2019: Over 300,000 toddlers have never been read a nursery rhyme by their parents a study suggests
Chat, read and play (You Tube video)

March 2019: Muddy Study - outdoor classroom day

January 2019: TES article 'Conversation beats word count in child language development'

November 2018: Article 'How you talk to your child changes their brain'

April 2018: Article 'Children's communication needs as important as fight against obesity'

September 2017: Video about noisy classrooms

August 2017: Articles about water play, play through the eyes of a child and classroom environments

October 2016: Article - 'School with guns, knives and fire on the timetable - and Ofsted loves it'

September 2016: Save the children report - 'Boys nearly twice as likely to fall behind girls by the time they start school'

March 2016: Article - 'Early language skills key to later success'

January 2016: Article - 'How free play encourages emotionally stable children in an unstable world'

October 2015: Mindful Transitions - An article about supporting children in the classroom.

May 2014: I've just read this thought provoking blog written by Michael Jones "You've got to get in to get out: or how we can have satisfying conversations with young children"

June 2013: Article - Great talking tips for parents

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