Every Toddler Talking

What is Every Toddler Talking?

Every Toddler Talking is a research trial investigating effective ways to give children aged birth to three a strong foundation in language and communication. It involves early childhood educators and speech pathologists working together to improve children’s language and communication skills.

Language and communication in the first three years of life are a cornerstone for lifelong learning, and evidence tell us that skilled early childhood professionals can have an enormous influence on how children's language develops.

The Every Toddler Talking research trial is an important part of making Victoria the Education State. The trial will provide evidence about ways to support earlier engagement in high quality learning, better connections between services, and better support for families and communities who will benefit most.

Phase one – review and research

In phase one, the Centre for Community Child Health and the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute drew on evidence, expert advice and consultation to develop recommendations for the trial design. To read the full report, see: Research Publications.

Phase two – research trial

The trial occurred in seven locations across Victoria in 2017 in a total of 19 early childhood education and care services, in collaboration with 7 community health services. The trial locations are in the Alpine region, Brimbank, Dandenong, Geelong, Mildura, the Mornington Peninsula and Sunbury.

Every Toddler Talking trialled professional learning designed to strengthen early childhood educators’ practice in promoting children's language and communication skills, and build collaboration between speech pathologists and educators. It features The Hanen Centre’s Learning Language and Loving It program, leadership training, and collaborative working groups of educational leaders and speech pathologists.

The evaluation compares the early childhood and care services implementing Every Toddler Talking with 'control group' services that do not partiicpate in the training. .

For an overview of the trial, see 'Every Toddler Talking Essential Reading' (docm - 405.51kb).

For the Every Toddler Talking Interim Report, see  Research Publications.​

Who is involved?

Early childhood education and care services and speech pathologists from community health services were selected to participate through an expression of interest process.

Participating early childhood education and care services:

  • provide centre-based long-day care
  • have at least three educators working with children under age three
  • have a minimum rating of 'Meeting' in all National Quality Areas (services that have not been assessed must be compliant with all regulations)
  • are not taking part in another research trial or professional learning program that focuses on language and communication for children under age three (e.g. Linking Learning, Let's Count).

Participating community health services:

  • employ a speech pathologist who has experience working with children aged birth to three
  • are not taking part in other research trials involving speech pathologists working with early childhood educators.

A total of 21 education and care services are being sought to be in the 'control' group. These services will not receive the training, but after the trial evaluation they will be offered opportunities focussed on improving children's language and communication.

More information

For enquiries, email every.toddler.talking@edumail.vic.gov.au