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About the Early Language Development Programme (ELDP)

What is The ELDP?

The Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) is an early intervention training programme funded by the Department of Education (DfE) and led by I CAN. Since February 2012, the programme has been helping to create a better skilled workforce, with the knowledge, confidence and skills to support speech, language and communication development in the early years. It builds upon the success of Every Child a Talker (ECAT) and targets pre-school children, with a particular focus on under 3’s.

The Cascade Model

Highly skilled I CAN Communication Advisors have delivered a free 2 day training course to suitably experienced lead practitioners. This course familiarises them with early language training modules ‘Working with Under 3s’ and ‘Working with Parents’, and equips them to deliver these modules to a wide range of local staff in children’s centres, PVI settings, nurseries and pre-schools using free I CAN resources. Resources include books, activity cards and DVDs which can be used by practitioners and parents to reinforce the session learning. Since early 2012, over 13,000 early years and family-facing practitioners have received local training. Over 90% of them report the training has helped them to improve their practice, enabling them to use more innovative ideas for improving their work to support children’s early language identification and development. See the Evidence section for more emerging impacts of the programme.

Funding for additional lead practitioner training in 2014-15

Following the success of the ELDP since 2012, the DfE has funded the programme for an additional year from April 2014 to March 2015. The particular focus will be on settings in areas of significant deprivation, reaching a further 3,000 local practitioners working with the most vulnerable 0-3 year olds and their families.

Please contact eldp@ican.org.uk for more information.

Further Information

The learning content on the ELDP links well with Early Years qualifications. Two qualifications which link particularly well are the Continued Professional Development Award in Speech, Language and Communication, and the Early Years Mandatory Pathway Unit 5 (EYMP5) of the Children and Young People's Workforce Diploma: "Supporting children's speech, language and communication". Details of the links are given in the participant pack for each course. For more information on Early Years qualifications, visit The Communication Trust training and qualifications page.

If you would like more information about the ELDP, please get in touch.
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