Every Child A Talker (ECAT)
At ST Michael’s Pre-School Practitioners are trained in ECAT.
Every Child A Talker (ECAT) is designed to improve the skills and expertise of the early year’s workforce in early language. As well as creating and enriched language environment within setting, the programme increases the involvement of parents in their children’s learning and will help to develop stronger home learning environments.
Primary National Strategies 2008
Training in Every Child A Talker (ECAT) has enabled us to create a developmentally appropriate, supportive, and stimulating environment in which children can enjoy experimenting with and learning language. Through every day, fun and interesting activities which reflect children’s interests, ECAT encourages early language development right from the outset, extending children’s vocabulary and helping them build sentences so that before they start school, children are confident and skilled communications. Practitioners increased knowledge enables them to identify children at risk of language and communication delays and support them as early as possible. We strive to create an enabling environment which stimulates children’s interest and enthusiasm to engage in meaningful conversation whilst developing an interest in print in the environment.
St Michaels pre-school is proud of its strong parent partnership which are an invaluable factor in working together to enhance children’s development.
Talking, understanding others, and knowing what to say are really important skills. They help children make friends, learn, and enjoy life to the full.
Children’s physical, emotional, language and cognitive development from pregnancy to age five are the foundations of the rest of their lives, influencing what and how they learn, their physical and mental health, friendship and relationships, and later vocations and careers.
It may seem an obvious thing to say, but one of the best things we can do with young children is to have interesting and enjoyable conversations with them. What this means is that as we go about our activities, whether at home, pre-school or out and about, we should make a special effort to answer children’s questions, point out things that interest us/them, involve children in helping and planning what to do next – whether that’s putting out things to play, tidying up, where to visit or creating a shopping list.
When reading a book with children, make a special effort to read slowly, with lots of fun and expression. Don’t worry about stopping if the children ask you questions. Encourage them to join with the sounds and rhythms of the story.