4 October 2012
Speech and language therapy will help give children a flying start
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has warmly welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement of a £19 million boost for its flagship Flying Start programme and its plans to double the number of children benefitting from the scheme.
Flying Start supports some of Wales’s youngest and most disadvantaged children with funding targeted at its most deprived communities. One of its key objectives is support for early language development in addition to free childcare, parenting support and health visitor support.
Speech and language therapists work as part of Flying Start teams in many parts of Wales so that early prevention and identification of communications difficulties are addressed at the earliest possible stage.
Dr Alison Stroud, Wales Policy Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists said: “More than half of children in deprived areas have a speech, language and communication need while nearly two-thirds of young offenders suffer communication problems which often result in behaviour problems. Communication difficulties hold children back throughout their lives as they are unable to reach their potential in school and, as they grow up, there are barriers to training and employment. Vocabulary at three years of age is predictive of income at the age of 30. Problems with speech and language imprison the individual and severely limit their participation in family life, the community, education and employment.
“We are calling on the Welsh Government to commit some of the additional £19 million in funding posts for more speech and language therapists in Flying Start settings. Resources are stretched very thinly and provision is very patchy across the whole of Wales. We need a speech and language therapist in every Flying Start setting in Wales to unlock the potential of our poorest and youngest children.”
For more information contact Moira Trezise, RCSLT Policy Officer, Wales Tel: 029 20397729
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK, representing more than 15,000 members. It facilitates and promotes research into the field of speech and language therapy – the care for individuals with communication, swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. It promotes better education and training of speech and language therapists and is responsible for setting and maintaining high standards in education, clinical practice and ethical conduct. The RCSLT’S Giving Voice campaign is highlighting the importance of speech and language therapy by sharing the life-changing stories of those who have benefited from treatment and by demonstrating evidence of speech and language therapists’ efficiency and value for money.
Notes for editors:
For more information contact Steven Harulow, email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 020 7378 3004