New £1.5m Speech, Language and Communication tool for young children under development
The development of a new tool to better identify Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) in children has been confirmed by the Welsh Government.
The £1.5 million bespoke Welsh tool will provide an evidence based, bilingual approach to identifying Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) in children aged 0-4 years, 11 months.
This will include evaluation of communication milestones, risk factors and environmental factors to be carried out at multiple age points, in line with the Healthy Child Wales Programme.
By identifying children who are at risk of SLCN early in life, the new tool will enable them to get the help they need at the right time and from the right person, preventing potential long-term effects.
Training in identification of SLCN, using the new tool, will be offered to a wide range of Early Years Practitioners.
Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services, said:
“I am excited to announce the development of this new tool for use with our nation’s youngest children.
“It is incredibly important to the Welsh Government that our children are given the best platform possible to reach their true potential, and this investment further supports this.
“By developing the new tool, it will allow children most in need to be identified early and offered intervention by the right person, in the right place, at the right time.”
The announcement comes alongside a separate £1,150,000 SLC uplift for 2022-24 that has been awarded to health boards and specialist centres. This will help to strengthen SLC services and reduce waiting lists.