The bespoke £1.5million Welsh tool will provide an evidence-based bilingual approach to identifying speech, language and communication (SLCN) needs in children aged 0-4 years and 11 months.

This will include an assessment of communication stages, risk factors and environmental factors to be carried out at multiple ages, in line with the Healthy Child Wales programme.

By identifying children at risk of SLCN early in life, the new tool will ensure they get the help they need at the right time and from the right person, avoiding potential long-term effects.

Training in identifying SLCN, using the new tool, will be offered to a wide range of early childhood practitioners.

Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister of Social Services, said:

I am thrilled to announce the development of this new tool for use with the youngest children in our country.

It is hugely important to the Welsh Government that our children have the best possible platform to reach their true potential, and this investment further supports that.

By developing the new tool, it will make it possible to identify early the children who need it the most and offer them an intervention by the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

The announcement comes with a separate £1,150,000 SLC increase for 2022-24 which has been given to health boards and specialist centres. This will help strengthen SLC services and reduce waiting lists.