SRF Program

  • Assessment of Children as Effective Communicators in ECEC: A Literature Review

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Reflective practice, Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Equity and diversity, Assessment for learning and development, Integrated teaching and learning approaches, Partnerships with professionals.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media, Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts, Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.


    ​Early childhood professionals are one of the key identifiers of communication difficulties in early childhood. This Literature Review documents the research that underpins and defines communication for children from birth to eight years. It outlines children's trajectory of communication development and the different modes and components of language. This resource aims to strengthen a shared understanding across early year's services and settings.

    A comprehensive list of 10 assessment tools spanning all aspects of children's communication has been reviewed in this document. Furthermore, seven principles for assessing children's communication have been identified and described.

    Detailed Costs

    ​Not applicable

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: early childhood educators working with children from age birth to eight years.

    Program / practice descriptions and details:

    The guide is provided in four sections:

    Section 1: How are children defined as effective communicators from birth to eight years of age?

    Section 2: Principles for assessing children as effective communicators

    Section 3: Summary matrix of tools for assessment of children's communication in early years (0–8 years)

    Section 4: Evaluation of existing tools for assessing children's communication skills

    Factors to consider: this review provides early childhood professionals with the knowledge and resources to support assessment practices related to children's communication development.​ Educator teams would benefit by using this to inform their decisions about assessment. 

    Consider sharing this resource with your local speech pathologist to support a shared understanding of the VEYLDF context.

    Strength of Evidence

    ​Not applicable