Greenwich Post-Covid Early Talk Boost Project

  • Greenwich Post-Covid Early Talk Boost Project

Welcome to our Greenwich Post-Covid Early Talk Boost Project page. This is intended for anyone involved in the project. We have a number of resources, links and an FAQ page here which will help you find out more.

Project summary

This ambitious project is aimed at boosting the language and communication skills of 3–4-year-olds across Greenwich Borough in London. It is for children who, during the pandemic, have missed out on much of the high-quality language and communication support that pre-school and nursery settings normally provide. We hope that as a consequence of this input, a greater number of children will start reception from September 2022 with the essential speaking and listening skills they need in order to learn and to interact with peers.

We will be working in close collaboration with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust Speech & Language Therapy Service; Therapy Links UK CIC; I CAN Charity and the Rotal Borough of Greenwich Inclusion, Learning and Achievement Division and Early Years Setting staff.

How will the project run?

Click here to download a pdf of this infographic.

Watch the recording of the project launch

We launched the project on December 6th on Zoom to around 100 attendees. You can access the recording here. (Length approx 1 hour)

Sign up for the project

If you are a Local Authority nursery or school in Greenwich you are eligible to take part provided you have attended or watched the recording of our launch. Applications will close on January 12th at midnight. You can access the sign-up form with the link below.


Questions about signing up for the project & for ETB training

You can access the sign-up form here until midnight on January 12th 2022. Please watch our launch recording before signing up.

Here is a link to the latest evidence figures on the I CAN website

Here is a more detailed evaluation of the pilot studies in settings around the country which was done in 2015

Go to I CAN’s online shop: to order the resources. If you want to pay by invoice, you will have to first create an account on ICAN’s website, and it will give you the option of choosing invoice . 

In the Licensee Details section, as shown below, please input the following “Greenwich Project: 2 Participant Books”:

Information on how to sign up for training will come out in your usual service Newsletter via Roz Weeks between 17th and 28th January. And we will publish  details here too. It is likely to be via Eventbrite. 

No need to tell us – we are expecting a few changes and have factored this in. 

ETB training will start from late January/Early Feb 2022. In the sign up form we have asked settings how they would like their 4 hour training. So far people have requested a range of options so we are likely to offer mostly online and a few face to face options (Covid-permitting). You will probably have a choice of 4 hours in one day (with a lunch break) or 2 hours on 2 consecutive weeks. The whole 4-hour course must be attended before practitioners can deliver the ETB intervention. 

All settings will be accepted if they can meet the criteria described in the launch video and outlined in the sign-up form. Information about the project will come out via your usual newsletter. 

I’m afraid not. Training is required to deliver the assessment so it’s all or nothing. 

The initial outlay of £500 represents good value for money over a number of years as the training (worth approx £500) and project support is free for settings (funded by the Local Authority).

The figures here will help you work out the cost over time. 

If you want to have a discussion with someone to help decide whether your settings would benefit, please contact  or

Yes. Whilst the ETB programme is not specifically aimed at teaching children English, there is evidence that children with English as an additional language will benefit. Contact for further information. 

Questions about assessing children after setting staff are trained

No consent is needed. ETB is a targeted intervention which is part of the school offer and is delivered by school staff. We would suggest that parents are kept informed as to the project and whether their child is included. 

No. Only the children you think may benefit from some additional support with language and communication. And those you are uncertain or concerned about. 

That will depend on the size of your setting and the local demographic. If you work in an area of social disadvantage then it is likely that more than half your children, possibly up to 80% will need assessing. Reliable post-Covid data on language development is not widely available yet – we are relying data from small studies and anecdotal reports which are telling us that children’s language development has been impacted by the pandemic. It is difficult to predict how many children will need support – this project will provide us with some useful data. 

The detail of assessment and intervention is all covered in the training. Assessment takes around 40-50 minutes per child. You will upload the results onto an online ‘tracker’ which you will have log-in details for. You will then be able to compare children’s scores before and after intervention with graphs etc to see the impact of the intervention. This is a good way to present impact data for OFSTED. 

Questions about delivering the ETB intervention

The short answer is yes. We know that many settings are running some sort of speech, language and communication support such as WellComm, NELI, Language Link and bespoke language groups (to name but a few).  Each setting will be assigned an I CAN ETB tutor to support you with ETB in the Spring & Summer terms. Exactly how ETB dovetails with existing support can be discussed with your I CAN ETB tutor. We would very much encourage you to continue with existing support as each programme has different benefits. 

Trained ETB practitioners deliver the intervention for 9 weeks to groups of 6-8 children. They follow a structured approach set out in a clear manual. Groups run 3 times per week for 15-20 mins a session – during story/circle time. Story books and resources are provided in the intervention pack. The training covers this in detail.

This will be agreed by our Co-design group, which has nursery practitioners and representatives from all parties involved in the project,  advising us on all aspects of the project. At the very least, the before and after language scores that you input into the I CAN online tracker will give us the basic measures about the impact of the intervention. We will consider what other measures would be useful. If you have ideas on how to measure the impact of the project – please email

There are several support options that you can access.

Firstly, included in your £500 investment is support from I CAN via or 020 7843 2515. It’s best to go to them with any log-in questions, tracker questions or problems with equipment/resources/orders. 

Secondly, 3 SaLTs and 1 qualified teacher and SaLT assistant (from Talking Outcomes & from Therapy Link UK) will be providing a support programme for settings. It is likely that most of this will be online but with some on-site visits. We’ll know more after February half term. 

Thirdly, there will be some sort of online forum or drop-in sessions where you can talk to other settings specifically about ETB and do some problem-solving. 

Finally we are aiming to provide some support from SaLT students after March. Again, we’re not sure what this will look like or whether it will be available to everyone. More details will follow in the Spring. 

Possibly. If you have indicated on your sign-up form that you would welcome support form students, then we are considering this option for you. We are liaising with London Universities to see if we can make this work as we believe it could be beneficial to students and settings. Sarah Beckett is the SaLT to contact if you have ideas or queries about student involvement. 

Contact us

If you have any further questions simply contact us by using the form below.