Creating a lasting legacy with the ELDP

“We have a national crisis where parents are not adequately interacting with babies and children which leads to social interaction difficulties, language and communication problems.

 At least 40,000 children will have started school this week without the necessary levels of spoken language ability to access the curriculum. And these are NOT children with speech, language or communication disorders”

Libby Hill, Speech and Language Therapist, Sept 2010

At the beginning of this week, Little Signers Club were priviledged to attend training given to Lead Practitioners for the Early Language Development Programme (or ELDP).


ELDP is a national project funded by The Department of Education and run by ICAN, the children’s communication charity.

ELDP aims to ensure that more young children develop the language skills that they need to improve their life chances and to be school ready.  The programme will particularly target 0-2 year olds and their families in England’s most disadvantaged areas.

ELDP will be cascaded by trained Lead Practitioners ( Louise and Shelley at Little Signers Club) to anyone working with children under the age of 5 years.

Key Facts:

  • By 22 months a child’s development can predict educational outcomes at age 26
  • By 2 years 75% of a child’s brain growth has occured
  • By 2 years the experiences of the child physically affect brain growth
  • By 4 years the difference in the number of words different groups of children hear is 19 million
  • By 5 years a child’s vocabulary will predict their educational success and outcomes by age 30

Evidence shows that children’s understanding and use of vocabulary at 2 years old  is very strongly associated with their performance on entering school. In some areas of the UK more than 50% of children start school without the communication skills they need.

How will it work?
ELDP will help childrens centres, nurseries, childminders and pre-schools build capacity and skills in communication and language – now one of the three prime areas of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum. The programme focuses of strategies to improve practitioners learning and skills in early identification and intervention whilst encouraging partnership working with other early years settings, childrens centres, speech and language therapists and health visitors.

ELDP aims to reach up to 16000 Early Years Practitioners and over 960,000 children – a lasting legacy of improved communication of which we are extremely proud to be a part.


Little Signers Club will be providing training in three areas of expertise over the next twelve months.

  1. Babies’ and Toddlers’ Speech, Language and Communication Development
  2. Working with Under 3s
  3. Working with Parents

cascadeTraining is practical and participants are encouraged to share their knowledge and experience.  By the end of any of the training courses, practitioners will have the motivation and confidence to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired with the practitioners, families and children with whom they engage.

Courses are completely FREE OF CHARGE and will be offered in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire initially.  

Please email us at to be the first to know when courses will be released or if you would like to arrange training for your setting or conference.