Talking Together, was developed by BHT Early Education and Training (BHT) as a response to the high levels of language deprivation they encountered in Bradford back in 2004, and is delivered to parents of children aged two years who have been identified as being at risk of language development delay. It is delivered by BHT and provides language assessments to all two-year-olds in the Better Start Bradford area (Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton).
Following these assessments, families with two-year-olds who would benefit from extra support are then offered one-to-one sessions at home over a six-week period. These sessions aim to help parents and carers engage their children on an ongoing basis in activities, play and conversation that helps improve children’s language skills and their ability to interact positively with people around them. This can help children be better prepared for starting school and have a long-term impact on their literacy skills.
Rebecca Heald, Language Development Programmes Manager at BHT, said: “Our whole team are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award. BHT recognises that children are natural communicators and that they are born ready to communicate. No child should be left behind due to speech and language difficulty and with the work we are delivering via Talking Together, we aim to prevent this for the children of Bradford by providing parents with the skills and knowledge base to support their children’s language development.”
One mum who has taken part in Talking Together said: “I have found Talking Together to be really helpful. It’s helped me to understand my child more and given me lots of ideas of how to support his communication. Through the support from the Language Development Worker my child is now interacting with me, gaining eye contact and he is now wanting to play with us. My child used to only babble, but now he has started using single words and pointing for the things he wants. The programme has been amazing!”
Alex Spragg, Programme Director at Better Start Bradford, said: “We are so pleased that that our Talking Together project has been recognised in the Nursery World Awards. This recognises the continued hard work and dedication of the BHT team to children in our area and we all have our fingers crossed for the awards ceremony in London in September.”
The Nursery World Awards are open to everyone involved in early years education and childcare and highlight best practice and help raise the profile of the sector. There are 25 categories and the awards ceremony is on Saturday 28 September at The Brewery in London.
Good luck to the team!