Speech, Language & Communication Guidance for Professionals

If you are an early years practitioner working in Barnsley and have a concern about a child’s speech, language and communication, please consider the following:

  • Discuss with parents / carers.
  • Observe the child.
  • Refer to any EYFS or alternative non-statutory guides the setting is using.
  • Discuss the child with either the setting SENDCO or an area SENDO (through a SEND surgery).
  • Consider discussing with a health professional (e.g. health visitor, child development practitioner or school nurse).
  • Consider undertaking a WELLCOMM assessment.

It is important to consider whether the child is below age related expectations and is not catching up.

All Barnsley settings have been provided with a WELLCOMM pack. If you are unsure how to use WELLCOMM, please contact an Early Years Consultant or Quality Improvement Officer.

Making a referral to Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)

If you are worried about a child’s communication or their eating & drinking, complete a referral checklist. This will help you decide if we are the service to help you.

If you do want to make a referral to our service, download our referral form. If you are a parent, we recommend you ask your child’s teacher or health visitor to help you fill in the referral form so that they can provide additional information.

The following links may be useful in supporting you if you have any concerns about a child’s speech and language development:

Support available for children with SEND in an Early Years setting

The Barnsley Early Years SEN Support Inclusion Toolkit provides guidance for Early Years settings, schools and services on identifying and meeting the special educational needs (SEN) of children in the early years, through quality first teaching and SEN support. The guidance within the toolkit is built around the DfE and DoH 2015 statutory guidance Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The aim of the Early Years SEN Support Inclusion Toolkit is to build confidence and consistency in further facilitating and enabling educational settings and services to work together in partnership with parents/carers to meet the needs of all children.

The toolkit communicates a shared understanding of quality first teaching and SEN support within Early Years. It offers guidance in relation to identification of special educational needs and disability (SEND), understanding of barriers to learning, and advice on practice and provision to build on strengths and reduce those barriers. The toolkit includes signposting and webpage links to resources and services to further support the graduated approach.

The Early Years SEN Support Inclusion Toolkit contains a section dedicated to supporting children with communication and interaction needs.

There are various contacts details in the links above to specialist services, but for all general enquires please e-mail EYFSConsultants@barnsley.gov.uk.