Talking Tots Recognises National Year of Communication In Stoke-on-Trent

Talking Tots Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme is excited to be involved in the National Year of Communication, which begins in January.

The aim of the National Year is to help all children and young people fulfil their potential through better communication and was originally proposed in John Bercow’s 2008 Review of Services for Children and Young People 0-19
with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

“75 percent of heads of nurseries and schools admitting three-year-olds
have noticed a significant decline in children’s language competence at
entry over the last five years.”

At a recent event attended by Talking Tots franchise owner Neroli Oakley, Stoke Speaks Out presented evidence that a very high percentage of 3 year olds in the city are failing their Early Years Communication Checks, suggesting that they could suffer Communication and Literacy Difficulties in later life. A worrying number of young adults in Stoke on Trent have the literacy levels of a 12 year old.

“one in ten children in the U.K (approximately one million) have a
speech or language difficulty”
“In Stoke on Trent the figure is much higher than this – evidence from Sure Start local programmes suggests that more than half of the children in Stoke on Trent are at risk of a language or speech delay. This will impact significantly on the child’s ability to learn and on
future opportunities in life”

There are a range of excellent services such as Stoke Speaks Out and Children’s Centres provided by the local authorities in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire that hope to address these problems.

Talking Tots is working with these services to deliver its unique pre-school communication classes at
subsidised prices.

However many of these are now in danger of closure due to cuts imposed by the recent Government Spending Review.

“Talking Tots is keen to be a positive contributor to the unified and inclusive effort to provide support services in the area to all Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s residents”
“This is only possible through the goodwill and constant support of agencies such as Libraries, Community Learning Partnerships, Stoke Speaks out and Children’s Centres.”

Staff asked to join the Spending Challenge

All Staffordshire County Council staff have been invited to take part in the Government’s Spending Challenge.

The challenge is designed as a way for workers in the public sector to contribute money saving ideas to help reduce the national debt.

Council Leader Philip Atkins has urged county council employees to rise to the challenge and contact both the Government and Staffordshire County Council with their ideas to achieve savings. 

He said: “It doesn’t matter if the savings achieved are large or small – they all contribute to our goal of providing excellent services at less cost. It can be done, and we will do it together.

“No-one is better placed than frontline staff to identify waste. The county council has been working hard to identify efficiencies, and this is somewhere all our staff, part-time or full-time, can make a positive contribution.”

The Spending Challenge was launched with an open letter to all public sector workers from Prime Minister, David Cameron and Deputy PM, Nick Clegg.

County Councillor Atkins said: “Government has indicated that while local authorities will have less money, they will have greater scope to decide how it is spent. This will see a reduction in the interminable tick-box, target chasing culture of the last decade and is a real opportunity to innovate.”