The Evelina Foundation/Enhanced Award for Communication Friendly Environments was developed by the Evelina London speech and language therapy (SLT) team. It serves as a framework to demonstrate how early years settings are providing the supportive environmental features that facilitate speech, language and communication (SLC) development.
As part of the LEAP programme, the Evelina Award was developed in partnership with the Evelina speech and language team to include two-tiers:
Foundation level Evelina Award
Enhanced level Evelina Award.
The process for achieving the Evelina Award at Foundation or Enhanced level involves a programme of baseline audit, training, coaching and reviews delivered by speech and language therapists.
The audit tool for the Evelina London Award for Communication Friendly Environments was designed to identify training needs or areas of support required in an EY setting in order for it to be deemed a communication friendly environment.
Once the SLC training and bespoke SLT support has been provided, subsequent audits will measure change in observable behaviours used by staff, along with evidence of environmental features that support SLC development, thus demonstrating the impact of SLT input on the experiences of the children within the specific EY setting.
There is a strong association between children’s speech, language and communication needs and social disadvantage.
The risk of a child starting school with delayed language skills may be mitigated by strengthening the communication environments they experience during their early years (the quality of adult-child communication and conversation) and by ensuring they receive specialist support where necessary at the earliest opportunity.
This training supports practitioners in pre-school settings to:
LEAP’s Evelina Award offer has targeted Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) childcare settings. The scope of the project has recently broadened to include some statutory settings such as nursery classes within primary schools.
Settings and practitioners who embark on the journey towards the Evelina Award through the LEAP programme will receive:
Practitioners will also benefit from:
Publicity of settings' achievement of the award through LEAP and Evelina London Children's Community SLT websites and Facebook page.
Practitioners can contact LEAP to discuss whether their setting is eligible for this free training offer.