Blackpool Early Years Services

Communicate SLT are commissioned by Blackpool Borough Council and Better Start to provide Universal and Targeted support to children and families, Early Years settings and the Early Years workforce.

“Speech, language and communication are central to each child’s potential to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and ultimately achieve economic well-being.”

(Better Communication, DfE, 2012)

“Speech, language and communication is the most important thing in all our children – it's their key to life.”

(Bercow Report, DCSF, 2008a)

For Children and Families

Across Blackpool, all children will have their communication and language skills checked using the WellComm screening tool by their Health Visitor at the Universal visits and within Early Years Settings (e.g. Nursery) during their pre-school years or earlier if there are concerns. Following this screening, a referral can be made for Speech, Language and Communication support. Referrals are considered at an early years triage meeting, with children and families being offered the services that best meet their needs.

Hanen Parent Programmes

Hanen It Takes Two to Talk

The 'It Takes Two to Talk' Program is designed specifically for parents of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have been identified as having a language delay. In a small, personalised group setting, parents learn practical strategies to help their children learn language naturally throughout their day together. This program can be delivered either ‘in-person’ or online.

The 'It Takes Two to Talk' Program helps parents:

  • Recognise their child’s stage and style of communication so that they know which steps to take next.
  • Identify what motivates their child to interact so parents know how to get conversations started.
  • Adjust everyday routines to help their child take turns and keep interactions going.
  • Follow their child’s lead to build their confidence and encourage them to communicate.
  • Add language to interactions with their child to help them understand language and then use it when they are ready.
  • Tweak the way they play and read books with their child to help their child learn language.
  • Help their child understand and learn new words.

Hanen Target Word

Hanen’s 'Target Word' Program is specifically designed for late talkers. In a small, personalised group setting and individual consultations, parents learn practical strategies relevant to helping their child progress and develop. This program can be delivered either ‘in-person’ or online.

Parents learn ways to naturally create opportunities for their child to use words during everyday routines and activities:

  • How to respond when your child communicates without using words.
  • How to turn everyday activities into opportunities for language-learning.
  • How to introduce new words and ideas into playtime and other activities.
  • How to join in your child's play and favourite activities in ways that help your child use new words.
  • How to set up activities so your child can learn new words.

Additional Services

Information Stations

Our Team also provide Information Stations at Early Years Settings / Children’s centres and other venues within Blackpool. Come along to find out about Speech, Language and Communication development, ask questions or gain support. 

What service users say:

“I’ve loved it, it’s been so good for us... I’ve learnt loads and will use the strategies with the new baby too. I loved the one about questions, I think it’s made loads of difference and no one tells you these things normally. I’d highly recommend this to anyone, it’s been great!”


For more information about other services for children and families within Blackpool please visit.

For Early Years Settings

All Early Years Settings in Blackpool are provided with resources, support and training to enable them to maximise children’s early language skills.

All Early Years Settings are able to access support and training in:

  • Using the Communication Trusts Early Years Commitment.
  • Embedding I CAN Early Talk 0-5's strategies.
  • Delivering targeted interventions such as the I CAN Early Talk Boost.
  • Identifying a Communication Champion who access the local training and network.
  • Understanding the local Integrated Early Years SLC Pathway. 
  • Screening children’s Communication and Language skills using WellComm and I CAN Early Talk Boost trackers.
  • Understanding the Speech, Language and Communication needs of the children in the setting.
  • Supporting individual children following a WellComm screen and referral.

What service users say:

“Is there somewhere I can sing your praises? You’ve been great and I really appreciate all the help. It’s been so useful for me to take a step back and look at how we support the children and make some really positive changes - you’ve given us so many great ideas.”

Nursery Manager 

“We had Ofsted in yesterday and the Inspectors commented on the interaction. Our staff were all using the Hanen strategies they had learnt and mentioning Hanen when they were talking."


Workforce Development Offer

Communicate SLT provides a rolling programme of training for all members of the children’s workforce in Blackpool. Early Years Settings (nurseries, child-minders and Children's Centres) can also request whole setting training.

Training includes:

  • I CAN Early Talk 0-5's.
  • I CAN Early Talk Boost.
  • WellComm Workshop. 
  • Communication Champions Cluster Workshops  – bespoke workshops designed around the needs of the local Early Year's workforce.

What service users say:

“I’m so glad I came to that training recently, I’m constantly thinking about speech now when I’m with the kids.”

Nursery Assistant

“Really enjoyable and informative training. Thank you.”

Nursery Manager