The communication and language team at A Better Start Southend is celebrating, with a successful Let’s Talk pilot and more courses ready to be rolled out in 2016 and 2017.

The recent Let’s Talk with Your Baby sessions, for children aged 6-9 months, and Let’s Talk with Under Fives communication classes for the parents of children aged 18 months+, have been evaluated and further developed with the input of parents themselves. The team is ready to roll out eight further courses at four children’s centres between September-December 2016, with another eight planned for January–April 2017.

Isobel Wratislaw a senior speech and language therapist at A Better Start Southend says:

“Parents know their children best and are by far the best people to help them develop the communication and language skills they need to thrive. Our aim is to support them to do that. We’ve been getting great feedback from parents and carers who have been on the Let’s Talk courses and have been working with them to coproduce further activities, expanding the sessions so that more local families can benefit from the approaches that work.”

The sessions are free and open to all parents and carers of children aged 6 months – 5 years, in Southend.

Parents on the Let’s Talk courses say:

“It was brilliant; you learnt something different every week. They would provide ideas that you hadn’t thought of or didn’t know. It makes you more aware of how you talk to [your children] and the impact it has. [My kids] loved some of the resources, which we ended up buying for home. I also bonded with the other parents. It was nice to share experiences and we still see each other now. It would be brilliant if this could be rolled out across Southend.” Kate Bellis-Wright, Parent

“We’ve put a few things into practice at home including turn taking and talking about things more, so instead of saying it’s a ball, describing it using colours, sounds, shape etc. It’s hard being a mum and you can get support from the other parents in the group. This course was better than I expected, it really helped me and I’ve recommended to my friends, who are first time mums, to go on it.” Georgina Graveney, Parent

For more information on the Let’s Talk with your Baby and Let’s talk with Under Fives sessions visit Southend Information Point or contact your nearest children’s centre.