Home Talk and Workforce Development

Home Talk

We work with families across Nottinghamshire, whose children have some delay in learning to talk. The programme involves of an initial phone call, 6 home visits plus a review visit. One of our friendly Home Talk workers can call you. They will offer to help you support the development of your child’s talking and listening skills through everyday activities. These early skills will help your child to make the most of the of all the opportunities they have to learn and make friends. This will help them later when they start school.

Watch a video with some of our Home Talk workers explaining more about what they do and why they love their job!


Training for Language Leads

Our Speech and Language Therapists run termly Language Lead networks for early years practitioners. Language Leads are champions for language in their school or setting. They support all children to reach their potential, including those children who need extra help with speech, language and communication.



Support for Children Centre staff

Our Speech and Language Therapists offer advice and training for Children’s Centre Staff on the delivery if the Little Talkers sessions. They also offer advice to children’s centre workers about the speech, language and communication development of children that receive their support.

The team also contribute to the Language for Life social media and this website!

CECIL Project

Nottinghamshire EISLT team are working with The Sutton Trust, The Institute for Employment Studies and the University of Oxford on the Coaching Early Conversations, Interaction and Language (CECIL) programme. 

Good communication and language skills in the early years are closely linked to improved academic attainment, behaviour, social and emotional well-being; longer term life chances and social mobility.  The CECIL programme aims to address inequalities in children’s early language and communication through a programme of professional development which includes training, coaching and additional support for Early Years Practitioners.

CECIL includes an adapted version of Nottinghamshire’s Let’s Interact (an adaptation of Learning and Language and Loving ItTM – The Hanen Programme® for Early Childhood Educators / Teachers)  alongside 1:1 video coaching from Hanen-trained Speech and Language Therapists.  This enables practitioners to learn about children’s communication and language development and their role in supporting it; to practise implementation of the range of strategies introduced with coaching from experts; and to reflect on their own practice and it’s impact on children’s opportunities to develop language.   This multi-faceted approach to professional development allows practitioners to build upon their own skills and embed learning into daily practice with two-year olds.

This innovative professional development programme will be evaluated by the Institute for Employment Studies and the University of Oxford to examine the impact on children’s communication and practitioners’ confidence and skills.

For more information visit the Sutton Trust website:


Talking Together Traded Service

One child in five starts primary school in England without the language skills they need to succeed, a figure that rises to one in three of the poorest children. (Department of Education 2015) 

We offer a traded service that is led and delivered by NHS Speech and Language Therapists, and tailored to meet individual school and setting needs.

We are an award winning, nationally recognised team. We can offer bespoke support across all key stages including:

  • staff training – bespoke and licensed national training
  • parent training and coaching
  • your own speech and language therapist and speech and language therapy assistant


Services for schools and settings:

  • your own speech and language therapist – packages from one day a month to one day a week
  • packages to be shared across MATs/families of schools

Speech and language therapists can:

  • provide action plans to support the development of communication skills in schools
  • provide individual assessments, programmes and therapy alongside your TA teams
  • provide staff training including licensed interventions
  • support your parents to develop their home learning environment


Staff training examples can include those listed below and we can also develop specific training that meets your requirements

  • Bespoke twilight and INSET training
  • Making the link – exploring the links between language and social, emotional and mental health needs
  • Early Years “Language for Life” training
  • Talking Matters
  • Communication for All
  • Let’s Interact – An adaptation of Learning and Language and Loving It TM  – The Hanen Programme® for Early Childhood Educators/Teachers
  • Talking with Twos


Interventions – training and support for schools and settings include:

  • KS1 TalkBoostTM (ICAN)
  • Early Years TalkBoostTM (ICAN)
  • Attention and Listening Groups
  • Narrative Groups
  • Word AwareTM
  • Speech sound groups
  • Elklan Speech and Language Support for 3-5s and 5-11s


Speech and language support for parents/carers includes:


Talking Together online seminars

Check back for more training opportunities soon.

Contact us for free consultation and advice to help identify the support that best suits your needs:

Email: L4L@nottshc.nhs.uk

Small Steps Big Changes

In 2019, 32% of 4-year-olds in Nottingham started school without the communication, language and literacy skills they need to learn and progress.

Differences in language skills are clear by age 2 and have an impact by the time children start school.


During the SSBC Parent Consultation (2020), parents asked for more speech and language activities to do at home. They also said that they would benefit from greater awareness of children’s developmental milestones.

To address this need, SSBC has launched a partnership with the Nottinghamshire HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust, Early Intervention Speech and Language team.

The team have already kick started the work with SSBC partners, professionals and families across our wards. Introducing two evidence-based interventions, Home Talk and Elkan, for families to access.  


Home Talk is a nationally recognised evidence-based programme.

This includes six home visits with an experienced Home Talk Worker. They are guided and supervised by specialist early years Speech and Language Therapists.

During the visits, they share ideas and fun activities to encourage language development.

The visits are available to parents and children aged 2 (who can say up to 30 words) and 2 ½ (who can say up to 50 words).


The Early Intervention Speech and Language team will also be running courses and groups for parents/carers, developed by a national speech and language organisation called Elklan.

The Elklan packages include:

  • Let’s Talk with Under 5s - A seven-week course – complete with workbook & Level 1 qualification
  • Let’s Talk at Home - A six-week course for parents/carers and their child. Parent coaching sessions and weekly top tips.


 “We are delighted to be working with Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to develop and deliver a brand new service for families in SSBC wards. Having a good level of language development is crucial for children to get the best start in life and at school. Home Talk has already made such a positive difference to families. We are also working with parents to develop the Elklan workshops that will be available later in the year. Parents asked for more support and we hope the new services bridge the gap and address this need.” 
Alison Poxon, Project Manager, SSBC


As a result of completing Home Talk or the Elklan package, we will see improved communication, Speech & Language in under 4’s.

Improvements will be monitored through the Early Years Foundation Stage measures.

For more information about the Small Steps Big Changes project visit their website: www.smallstepsbigchanges.org.uk.

Research and evaluation

Publications and National Documents

We want to make sure that we offer the families we work with advice that will help their child with their speech, language and communication. To help with this the team takes part in research and evaluation projects. Below is a selection of publications that members of our team have written or where the practice of the team has been included as examples of good practice.


Bercow: 10 Years on

A report published by the Royal Collage of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT) which looked into speech therapy across the country and how children living in different areas are offered support. The EISLT team was included in this as an example of good practice for supporting vulnerable children who are at risk of missing appointment in traditional therapy models.


Coaching in everyday interactions to support language development

A project we are currently working on with The Sutton Trust, University of Oxford, Hackney SLT Team and the Institute for Employment Studies. This project is being funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The project is looking at how we can coach early years practitioners to support children to develop their language skills during everyday interactions.


SLTs experiences of working with early years practitioners to support communication development

Research produced in partnership with Nottingham Trent University about the EISLT team’s experience of supporting Language Leads - early years practitioners with additional training in supporting children’s language development.


Evaluation of the Language lead approach

Research produced by Nottingham Trent University, looking at the role of the Language Lead role from the practitioners’ perspective.

To ask for a copy, please contact the authors through the link.



Research and evaluation written and facilitated by the EISLT Team

The Role of Health Visitors in supporting all children’s communication development

An article written by the EISLT team for Health Visiting teams about how to help children’s early speech, language and communication development.


How Home TalkTM Can Support Children’s Language Development

A research study looking at the outcomes of children who have taken part in the Home Talk service.


Supporting Early Years Practitioners’ to use language supporting strategies through brief training

A research study looking at how attending Let’s Interact: An adaptation of Learning Language and Loving ItTM – The Hanen Programme® for Early Childhood Educators/Teachers impacted on early years practitioners’ skills in interacting with children and supporting their communication development.


Year of Evaluation

Evaluation is a powerful tool for service improvement, so we present here a “warts and all” report, contributed to by everyone within the EISLT team. This provides some strong evidence of what we need to continue with but also some things we need to improve upon.


Language for Life Social Media: A parents’/carers’ perspective

Carers’ perspective .pdf [pdf] 384KB

An evaluation of  parents and carers’ views of the Language for Life website and social media accounts.



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