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ELKLAN Training to Support Children’s Language and Learning.


Childminders, Settings & Early Years Practitioners

Aimed at

Early Years Foundation Stage


Early Years, Language Development

Why was the project needed?

Developing early speech and language and addressing children’s communication needs was identified as a key target to enable children in Ipswich to reach a good level of development and make the best start at school.

What happened and what was the impact?

33 Early Years practitioners in Ipswich have been funded to complete Elklan level 3, and 10 of these when on to achieve Level 4, with their setting thereby achieving Communication Friendly status. A further 7 practitioners were trained to deliver an Elklan Level 1 accredited course “Lets Talk with Under 5s” to parents and carers.Significa

The training programmes gave access to expert consultancy delivery, webinars, quality resources and ongoing assessment. The programme equips all those who work in a setting with the tools they need to support children and young people’s ability to understand and communicate with adults and their peers.

What did and didn't work?

Significantly more practitioners were enrolled than completed the course – which began in the academic year that the Covid pandemic began. Elklan is a worthwhile commitment, but the portfolio building does take time and this needs to be borne in mind. The course, particularly at level 4 also required confident literacy skills. Some less confident practitioners benefited from support to build portfolios of evidence.

How did you measure success?

  • On completion of the criteria for the programme and assessment as part of the programme.
  • Cascading of learning within setting.
  • Improved early speech and language within EY Children in setting.


Ingredients For Success

  • Project management and coordination of webinars and access to training
  • Access to expert consultancy to deliver and support accredited training
  • Staff commitment and time to complete programme
  • Funding of programme

How is the Project Sustainable

  • Elklan is an evidenced based programme with quality resources which will be embedded past the end of funding
  • Practitioners cascade learning to the wider workforce and learning as a local group creates a local network of practice
  • The programme was delivered by expert consultants bringing about long term best practice

What are the Long Term Impacts

Embedding an evidence-based programme and associated interventions, quality resources,  schools and settings will be able to support all children to reach their Early Learning Goals in Communication and Language. As well as having practitioners sharing the accredited training across the setting.

Area Most Impacted

Early Years Language Development

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

ELKLAN - Highfield

I completed the Elkan training Level 3 and level 4 and successfully gained “Communication friendly status” for our setting.

ELKLAN - Let's Talk at Home Course

Next steps to do something similar yourself

These are a list of Big Idea resources that you can use to implement in your setting:

ELKLAN Overview Presentation

Information on the ELKLAN courses taken up in the IOA

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Preparing for Literacy here

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Social and Emotional Learning here

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