• Early Years PDP Practitioner pages

    The main content of the Early Years Professional Development Programme is currently only available for those who are part of the Programme. However, we have developed a number of pages that are freely available for any practitioner regardless of whether they are part of the Programme. 


    Feel free to share these widely.


    • What is SLCN – Speech, Language and Communication Needs?

      What is SLCN – Speech, Language and Communication Needs?


      As you focus on the speech, language and communication skills of the children in your setting, and as you become more knowledgeable about them, you will be more aware of the additional needs some children have in this area of their development. The activities and strategies you will be implementing to support all children’s communication development in your setting will be helpful for the children with SLCN as well.


      Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) is an umbrella term, which refers to the range of communication difficulties that children and young people may face when speaking with others. They may experience difficulties with some, or all, of the following aspects, which we’ll look at in turn:

    • Typical development, birth to four

      Typical development, birth to four


      Please note: Children develop at different rates. These are only guidelines to provide some advice. Interpret carefully and use your professional judgement, seeking advice where necessary.

      The Early Years Outcomes document also gives some typical behaviours for each stage of learning and development, and you can access more details by using Development Matters.


    • Communication Friendly Settings

      Communication Friendly Settings


      Please note: while Early Years settings are under the impact of Covid-19-related restrictions, you will need to keep up-to-date with the latest Department for Education guidance and regulations for minimising the range of risks posed by the virus. 
      It is important that any temporary new rules and advice in relation to Early Years practice and Early Years settings takes precedence over the pedagogical guidance below, where there is any doubt or conflict.


      Enabling Environments, defined in Development Matters:
      Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
      Enabling Environments:
      • value all people
      • value learning
      They offer:
      • stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities
      • rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
      • support for children to take risks and explore


      • The Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP) in 2012 carried out extensive research into what a Communication Friendly environment should be like. Elklan Training has taken some of these suggestions and developed a checklist that settings can use to improve this area of their practice.

      • The information on these pages links back to this checklist, providing suggestions for settings to implement as well as links to web pages that will help settings further on this journey.