PACEY is working with Action for Children, I CAN and
the Office for Public Management on a two-year project supporting
childcare professionals to use evidence-led programmes. The project
is being funded by the Department for Education and is being
delivered to childcare settings across England.
I CAN Early Talk programme
Part of the two-year project is the I CAN Early Talk programme,
which has been devised to develop the skills of childcare
professionals in the vital area of children’s communication. Early
Talk does this through staged training packages, mentoring and
service development which includes accreditation.
The programme is being delivered by both
Action for Children coordinators and PACEY associates. Action for
Children has appointed six childminder coordinators across 14
children’s centres in six local authorities. These coordinators
will conduct a range of tasks including supporting the recruitment
of new childminders to meet demand for free early education,
wraparound and holiday care for disadvantaged and vulnerable
children. They will also offer childminders different forms of
support including help with registration, access to grants and
training in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) areas of
learning and development.
Action for Children and PACEY have trained and
supported licensed trainers to deliver the I CAN Early Talk
programme to 1,080 childminders and 70 staff in private, voluntary
and independent childcare settings. This will support childcare
professionals to develop expertise in the prime areas of the EYFS:
communication and language; physical development; and personal,
social and emotional development.
How does the training work?
The I CAN training is delivered over one day
and is being rolled out in Burnley, Oxford, Norfolk, Sandwell,
Oldham and Hampshire. These areas have been identified by Action
for Children and the roll-out is being coordinated with local
children centres. The training is divided into four units:
- What is communication and language?
- What you can do to develop communication and
- Creating a communication enabling
- What difficulties might children experience?
Who can help?
Each session ends with target setting, which
focuses on actions to support children’s communication development
in the individual setting. Each childcare professional is provided
with a participant book and a working-with-under-5s toolkit. This
unique toolkit provides childcare professionals with a range of
resources to help them understand and enable good practice in
supporting children’s speech, language and communication. As well
as helping practitioners to develop sustainable good practice
within their setting, the resources include materials to give to
parents to reinforce learning at home.
In addition, three of the PACEY associates have been
trained to carry out I CAN Early Talk accreditation with 18
childminders. On successful completion these childminders
will gain accredited status.
Why is PACEY involved?
PACEY’s knowledge and expertise in the
childcare sector enables us to support the delivery and roll-out of
the I CAN Early Talk programme. Nine PACEY Associates with
specialist knowledge and an interest in children’s communication
were selected to take part by training and supporting licensed
trainers, enabling them to deliver communication and language
training across a variety of childcare settings.
Elizabeth Sudall, a childminder in Burnley,
shares her experience of the training:
"I attended I CAN training in January 2014 at
Burnley Wood Children's Centre. Prior to attending the course I had
not heard of I CAN, or what training they provided for childcare
The course was very informative, giving lots
of examples of communication, language and ways to plan and record
a child's progress on these areas. Group work enabled discussion
with other settings and ways of looking at improving communication
At the end of the course we all received an I
CAN toolkit, containing flash cards for babies, toddlers and
older children; record sheets to track a child's progress; posters,
booklets and other relevant references. It also included games to
play with children to help them point out and recognise colours,
shapes, pictures of things they do in their daily routine (such as
brushing their teeth), which they can put in the correct order. All
of the resources provide children with a fun way of learning
language and communication skills.
Following the training, I held an I CAN
sponsored charity event, in association with the character 'Humf'.
The children sang and we had a craft activity where they
made their own bunny rabbits out of cotton wool and card. We also
had story time where I read two books to them. Children had a great
time talking, singing and laughing with one another. In fact, they
all still have their own bunny rabbit and talk about it, from the
photographs I have displayed in our play room. This event enabled
the children aged between 2-3 to be involved in group work,
stories, dancing, singing and crafts, which was teamed with lots of
new words and communication between each other.
Since this event, I have recently started the
I CAN accreditation training. This has been extremely beneficial,
as it has brought to attention areas within my setting that require
additional resources and planning, such as the use of phonics.
With the recent news from the government that
a high percentage of children in early years settings are not
'school ready' when entering reception class, I feel that by
completing the I CAN accreditation training, I can implement
positive additions with communication and language, to the children
I care for, giving them the best stepping stones for their
If you would like to find out more about the project or if you
live in one of the areas where the training is being rolled
out (mentioned above), please contact us.