York Council 27092023

Pioneering speech and language programme shortlisted for two national awards

A pioneering children’s speech and language programme in York has been shortlisted for two national awards.

City of York Council and York and Scarborough NHS Foundation Trust’s Early Talk for York programme is shortlisted in the ‘early years’ and ‘learning’ categories at this year’s Children and Young People Now Awards.

The programme was rolled out across the city last year following a successful pilot in the west of York and is already improving the communication and language outcomes for children aged 0 – 5 years.

Early Talk for York focusses on providing specific language support training for staff in schools and early years settings, assessing children to identify any speech or language problems and working closely with specialist speech and language therapists.

Early communication and language development has been shown to be particularly important in helping to tackle inequalities and through improving outcomes, the programme is helping to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers in York.

Councillor Bob Webb, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “By supporting children and their families early in childhood, we’re already seeing the impact of the programme in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers in York.

Early Talk for York is also helping to reduce the pressure on more specialist speech and communication services by providing early intervention at a nursery or school level.

“It’s a great example of what we can achieve when partners across the city work together and I’m pleased that the hard work and dedication of all those involved in this ground-breaking programme has been recognised once again.”

The award winners will be announced in November.

For more information on the Early Talk for York programme visit www.york.gov.uk/EarlyTalkForYork