Toddlers given lessons in improving small talk

MEXBOROUGH Children’s Centre is giving under-fives a helping hand to improve their language skills.

The centre has developed its ‘Small Talk’ groups as part of a national project to develop the language and communication of children from birth to five years of age called ‘Every Child a Talker’.

Children are referred to the six-week groups after being identified with early language delay during their routine two-year assessment by health visitors and community nursery nurses.

The 90-minute sessions are led by a nursery nurse and a senior nursery nurse, who is trained in early language development.

Children are assessed at the beginning and end of the programme.

Mexborough Children’s Centre’s early years manager Amanda Davies said: “Language and communication skills play a major part in children’s education.

“We help children develop these by asking them to label familiar objects in their environment and by participating in focused activities.

“These activities also encourage them to listen and take turns. Songs and rhymes also provide fun opportunities that help children to develop language skills.”

Following the success of the group, a similar programme is now being offered in local schools.