Building Blocks to Words - Baby Room Training (up to 18 months)


This training package is to support all practitioners working with babies up to their first words, typically 0-18 months. It offers a universal approach to supporting all babies while they work on their early language and communication skills. It is important to recognise children identified as having a significant risk; ensure you follow your local guidance on referrals to SLT.

What are the aims of the training?

  • To understand that babies learn language from before they are born

  • Understand our role in supporting babies’ language development, including what to look out for and how to respond.

Who can deliver this training?

Professionals who have a specialist level of knowledge in line with the Speech, Language and Communication Framework.

It is crucial that you are able to evidence that you are at the Specialist Level within the framework before delivering this package of training. For further information regarding the framework, please visit the handbook.

How should this training be delivered?

This training can be delivered in a number of ways. Below are some examples of how it can be delivered.

  • You could deliver this face to face internally in a setting with practitioners: Agree on a schedule of delivery i.e. if one sessions will be delivered at a time over two 1.5 hour sessions, or a single 3 hour session. If delivered with a break over one session, it is recommended that the break is after slide 21.

  • You could deliver this face to face externally for practitioners for a number of settings: This could be coordinated by your local training team and booked via a central system. Again, this could be in one or two sessions.

  • You could deliver this virtually: As above, expect via a virtual delivery platform.

What materials are provided within the package?

All materials and resources can be found at the bottom of this page and includes:

  • Training Slides (Executive Summary provided below)

  • A pre and post training questionnaire

  • Reflection sheets

  • Post training audit for settings

  • Parent Handouts

Reflections should be completed between sessions to allow support to be offered by the trainer. Learners are required to complete these as part of the training package.

A certificate is also be provided to learners on completion.

An optional follow-up session can be offered after the training to review if learners have embedded the training into practice.

Things to consider

To deliver the training, internet connection is required in order to play the video links. This will need checking with the setting/venue beforehand if being delivered face to face.

Some practitioners are not based in a setting and regularly caring for children, such as outreach workers, health visitors, community nursery nurses. These workers may find the sections on the environment less helpful. In this case, the trainer could discuss ways to support the parents in their home environment or consider replacing these slides with information on treasure baskets, rhyme boxes, ready steady go games etc. We recommend this would fit into the ‘turn taking’ element of the training.

Practitioners may ask about including signing into the training session. This has not been included as each authority recommends their agreed signing system of choice (e.g Makaton/sign along). Please refer back to the gestures section and emphasise that most signing with babies is based on natural gesture. Some authorities may offer signing training that the practitioners can access.

Training Materials and Resources

Training Slides Executive Summary

To access a full copy of the training slides please contact your local Early Years Speech & Language Therapist and/ or Local Early Years Team. Full training slides have not been uploaded to this page to ensure appropriate delivery is discussed locally first. 

Editable Certificate

Pre and Post Training Measure

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I am a responsive practitioner

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I am an observant practitioner

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I create a communication friendly environment

Post training audit for settings

Parent Engagement Sheets - For print with QR Codes

Parent Engagement Sheets - Online Word Version

Mind-minded Parent Handout

Reach Out Gestures Parent Handout

Feedback from training pilots in GM

Accessible training materials and resources

Pre and Post Training Measure

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I am a responsive practitioner

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I am an observant practitioner

Practitioner Reflection Sheet: I create a communication friendly environment

Post training audit for settings

Parent Engagement Sheets

Mind-minded Parent Handout

Reach Out Gestures Parent Handout