Talking Takes Off

Talking Takes Off aims to improve speech and communication in children from 0-5 years old in Luton.

Speech and language provide the solid foundations on which to build the best start in life. They lead to vital skills which will guide children on a life long journey of socialising, learning and progress as well as helping them to achieve their full potential and wellbeing.

Our aim is to make sure that the importance of communication is a conversation everyone is having.

There is a range of information and support services available for professionals working with children in Luton that focus on their developing early communication skills at every stage.

Whilst all children will benefit from support for their developing communication skills at a universal level, some benefit from focussed, targeted support when a need has been identified. A smaller number of children will benefit from specialist support to help them reach their communicative potential.

We have put together a pathway that documents the breadth of support we have available for children in Luton. You can find details of support services available on our Talking Takes Off Early Years Communication and Language Pathway

Further support for each level is listed below:

Applies to all children to support them to reach their potential

Where to start: Talking Takes Off offers a range of free training for professionals. See details here

What can I put in place? The Flying Start Speech and Language Therapist and Luton council’s Early Years team have put together a Padlet to share resources, ideas and advice. Click here to view it.

What else can I do?

For more information and advice, visit the local NHS Speech and Language Therapy website

You can also find universal advice and information on the local NHS Speech and Language Therapy Facebook page, where there are weekly topics and posts that can also be shared with parents.

National campaigns and websites:

For children who may need further support

Where to start: The locally developed Early Years Communication and Language Toolkit allows you to start to screen a child’s communication skills, identify needs and targets and it also has a resources section with lots of ideas and strategies that you can use. Find the toolkit here. You can also access training on using the toolkit here.

Locally developed small language groups, called Lift Off to Language, are a great way to support children’s communication skills within their Early Years setting. Available for all Early Years staff working in settings, find details on this free training here.

What can I put in place?

  • Start by identifying which area of communication you will focus on using the building blocks of communication and select strategies and activities from the resources section of the Toolkit or other resources available.
  • Share advice and strategies with parents as appropriate. We have developed some information pages for parents that you can find here.
  • For more information and advice, visit the local NHS Speech and Language Therapy website.
  • You can also access targeted training to extend your knowledge and skills through the NHS Speech and Language Therapy website.

What else can I do?

Consider if further support is needed by checking our referral guidance document.

Consider referral to our Little Talkers group if parents would benefit from further support and advice for their child’s language skills. There are two forms to complete and send:

Look at Luton’s local offer for details of wider support agencies and options.

For children who may need specific support

Where to start: If you have implemented and reviewed early advice strategies and seen little progress, consider if specialist support is needed. You can use the referral guidance to help you.

If the child you are working with has difficulties in social communication , feeding (eating, swallowing and drinking) or stammering, consider direct referral to SALT. You can find referral information here.

What can I put in place?

  • If the referral guidance indicates that the child needs specialist support, you can find information on referring to Speech and Language therapy here
  • The locally developed Early Years Communication and Language Toolkit allows you to start to screen a child’s communication skills, identify needs and targets and it also has a resources section with lots of ideas and strategies that you can use. Find the toolkit here. You can also access training on using the toolkit here.
  • For more information and advice, visit the local NHS Speech and Language Therapy website.

What else can I do?

  • Look at Luton’s local offer for details of wider support agencies and options.
  • Consider wider referrals and signposting that may be of benefit to the family. For example referral to paediatrician, audiology services or signposting to support groups.

Click here to view posters with the Key Messages on for Parents