Critically evaluate provision for developing speech, language and communication for children in own setting

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.10: Develop the speech, language and communication of children
Learning outcome: Be able to critically evaluate provision for developing speech, language and communication for children in own setting
Assessment criteria: Critically evaluate provision for developing speech, language and communication for children in own setting


Critically evaluating the provision for developing speech, language, and communication in an Early Years setting involves a detailed and reflective process. The practitioner must assess various aspects of the setting’s approach, resources, and practices. Here’s how this might be approached:

1. Assessment of Learning Environment

  • Language-Rich Environment: Evaluate whether the setting provides a rich language environment with diverse, accessible, and age-appropriate materials like books, storytelling resources, and conversation areas.
  • Display and Signage: Check if displays and signage in the setting are language-promoting, with labels, pictures, and words that encourage recognition and vocabulary development.

2. Review of Activities and Resources

  • Variety and Appropriateness: Examine if the activities and resources used are varied, engaging, and tailored to different developmental stages and language abilities.
  • Inclusivity: Assess whether the resources and activities are inclusive, catering to children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

3. Practitioner Interaction and Techniques

  • Modeling Language: Critically appraise how practitioners model language and communication. Are they using clear, positive, and age-appropriate speech?
  • Responsive Interactions: Evaluate the effectiveness of practitioner interactions in encouraging speech and language development, including their responsiveness to non-verbal cues from children.

4. Parental Involvement

  • Engagement with Families: Assess the level of engagement with families in supporting children’s language development at home. Are there strategies in place for sharing progress and providing tips for home activities?

5. Collaboration and Support

  • External Support: Consider how the setting collaborates with external professionals like speech therapists for children needing additional support.
  • Staff Training: Evaluate the training and professional development opportunities provided to staff regarding speech and language development.

6. Monitoring and Documentation

  • Assessment Practices: Review the methods used to assess and monitor children’s speech and language development. Are these methods effective and consistent?
  • Documentation and Reflection: Look at how observations and assessments are documented and reflected upon for planning and improving activities.

7. Policy and Procedure Review

  • Relevant Policies: Examine the policies related to speech and language development. Are they up-to-date, reflective of best practices, and effectively implemented?

8. Inclusive Practices

  • Support for All Learners: Critically review how the setting accommodates children with speech and language delays, disabilities, or those who are bilingual/multilingual.

9. Feedback Mechanisms

  • Feedback from Staff and Parents: Evaluate how feedback from staff and parents is gathered and utilized to improve speech and language provision.
  • Self-Evaluation and Peer Review: Consider the role of self-evaluation and peer review in assessing the effectiveness of practices and strategies.


This critical evaluation should be an ongoing process, with regular reviews and updates. The goal is to ensure that the Early Years setting provides a supportive, inclusive, and effective environment for all children to develop their speech, language, and communication skills to the best of their abilities.

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