Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Public Health England
  • Department for Education

Available on the Learning Hub

This programme has moved to the NHS Learning Hub. We recommend you read the information on this webpage to find out more about the programme before you access the learning (

More information about the Learning Hub and the migration of elfh programmes can be found here.

About the Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication programme

This elearning programme has been developed in partnership with Health Education England elearning for healthcare, Public Health England and the Department for Education.

Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication outlines the importance of the development of children’s speech and language skills for health visitors working with pre-school children and their families.

More information

The ability to communicate is fundamental to all of us. It is a set of skills that starts early in life and continues across the life course. Whilst we each develop at a different pace, there are key milestones in speech, language and communication (SLC) development. When these are not reached, they indicate that additional support may need to be offered to a young child and their carers. If children do not get this support early enough, it can mean that their speech, language and communication development is behind that of other children, risking poor outcomes across their life course. Through early identification of need and working in partnership with parents to support their child’s SLC, we can make a difference for children to achieve their full potential.

Working through the three modules within this SLC training programme will cover an introduction into SLC development, the importance of the home learning environment, SLC risk factors, early indicators of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), a behaviour change model, and assessment tools. Evidenced-based resources and links to the latest research will help you to empower parents and carers to support their child to achieve the best start in life for speech, language and communication.

There are three learning modules:

  1. Working with families to support speech, language and communication development;
  2. Supporting children with speech, language and communication needs;
  3. Early identification of speech, language and communication needs in children and how to support families.

In addition to the elearning modules, this programme also provides access to:

  • A Parent Facing Pathway that you can use to support your conversations with parents and carers
  • Public Health England’s SLC Health Visitor Train the Trainer Programme resources (for those disseminating SLC training locally)
  • Public Health England’s Early Language Identification Measure and Intervention (ELIM) Training resources (for those disseminating ELIM training locally)
  • An All Our Health Speech, Language and Communication session

Meet the team

  • Wendy Nicholson MBE

    Wendy Nicholson MBE

    Deputy Chief Nurse Children, Young People & Families & Deputy Head of World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery
  • elfh staff - Emma Nye

    Emma Nye

    Programme Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Chris Wood

    Chris Wood

    Project Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Runam Prasad

    Runam Prasad

    Learning Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Leanne Hargreaves

    Leanne Hargreaves

    Communications Officer, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

To access this elfh programme, you will require a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below. Note that if you hold a full elfh account, you can sign into the Learning Hub using your existing login credentials.

Register >

To view the Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication programme, select the View button below.  If you already have a Learning Hub account, you will also be able to login and access the resources within the programme.

View >

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access to the Learning Hub, you may be able to access the service if you have an existing OpenAthens account. Please go to Learning Hub and sign in with your existing credentials.

If you do not have an existing OpenAthens account, please contact elfh directly to check whether you may be eligible for access.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are an HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Best Start in Speech, Language and Communication programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the Learning Hub.

elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies