Department for Education
Elklan – Training Practitioners to Support Children's Language and Learning
Education Endowment Foundation

There will be 18 Stronger Practice Hubs, 2 in each region of England, and in November 2022 the first 13 SPHs to be appointed chose programmes from a menu to implement. The menu included Elklan’s Communication Friendly Settings (CFS) and Communication Friendly Home-Based Settings (CFHBS) programmes, and these were both over-subscribed!

Through the initiative, we are able to deliver CFS to 300 maintained and PVI settings (600 Lead Communication Practitioners) and CFHBS to 140 childminders, between now and July 2025. This will be free of charge to the settings and childminders.

Training for learners from the SPHs will be online and will comprise:

  • CFS: Speech and Language Support for 3-5s + CFS, delivered concurrently.
  • CFHBS: Let’s Talk with Under 5s OR Speech and Language Support for 3-5s + CFHBS, delivered concurrently.

Evaluating the effectiveness of CFS and CFHBS

The University of York and the University of Sheffield, funded by the Education Endowment Fund, are evaluating the programmes in some areas.

CFS will be the subject of a randomised controlled trial, while CFHBS (as implementation to date has been much smaller scale) will be piloted to explore its feasibility for more extensive implementation.

University of York
University of Sheffield

Where and when?

The breakdown of settings by area and academic year is as follows:
Research places are shown in green.



Here’s how you can join our courses

Elklan is recruiting for the 2 research projects. Information and timelines can be found here:



If you are a practitioner, childminder or manager in one of the allocated areas, do have a look. We very much hope you will express your interest through the webpage.

We also hope that Elklan Tutors in the relevant areas will support recruitment, spreading the message through their contacts and networks.

Some SPHs are recruiting settings and childminders OUTSIDE of the research. These opportunities are free to settings in certain SPHs.

If you are in Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Wigan, Stockport, Trafford, Oldham, Salford or Manchester local authority areas (affiliated with the Bright Futures SPH) or Middlesborough, Hartlepool or Sunderland local authority areas (affiliated with the Northern Lights SPH) and you are interested in CFS Early Years please visit

If you are a childminder (or you know childminders) in Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Wigan, Stockport, Trafford, Oldham, Salford, Manchester, Middlesborough, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Reading, West Berkshire, Windsor or Kent local authority areas and are interested in Communication Friendly Home-Based Settings please visit:

You can also contact your SPH or contact us at