Supporting Parents and Families
Parents have the biggest impact on how a child develops. If our aim is to support a child to reach their full potential, we cannot achieve this without working together with parents.

If you can support parents and families with the three areas below, you’ll be providing them with the tools to help their child develop…

1. Understand the importance of Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) and know what to expect as their child develops

    Help parents to understand the importance of Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) and know what to expect as their child develops.
    • Useful websites – Tiny Happy People, Hungry Little Minds, Speech and Language UK
    • Useful resources – Small Talk, ICAN first words poster, EYFS guidance
    • How often do you talk about talking?
      • If we want to raise the profile of Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) development, we need to talk about it – and not just when we have a concern. Development of SLC should be a frequent topic of conversation with families from their first involvement with your setting or service. Parents need to see that SLC is important to you as a professional – how do you show this?
    • Do you provide access to information for parents to help them understand their child’s next steps for SLC? Consider how you do this – is it accessible for all parents? Consider different ways of communicating the information – displayed in your setting, using social media, talking in person?

2. Understand how to support Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) development in everyday routines – use Chat, Play and Read

    Help parents to understand how they can use everyday activities and routines to promote Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) – Chat, Play and Read!

    The simple strategy of ‘Chat, Play, Read’ is a great way of supporting parents to use everyday opportunities to promote early SLC development. We can take anything the child is interested in, or something the family are doing and find ways to Chat about it, Play in a way that follows their interest, and Read in different ways.

    We LOVE using the ‘Chat, Play Read’ approach to support families – it’s simple but so effective. Find examples of how you can implement ‘Chat, Play Read’ here.

3. Ideas for more specific activities to focus on areas of Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) where their child might need a little extra help.

    Give parents ideas of specific activities they can try at home to focus on Speech, Language and Communication (SLC)

    The idea of ‘Chat, Play, Read’ is still useful here, you can use it to focus on activities a child has shown interest in and help a parent understand how they can use it to develop their child’s SLC skills.

    There are also some great ideas here at Resources (, as well as on all the links provided above.

You might feel this is an area you would like some more support with. If so, take a look at our ‘Early Talk Working with Parents’ workshop.

You can also signpost parents to the ‘parents and families’ section of this website for further information. We have included lots of useful websites and information you can share with the parents you are supporting.