Charity Overview

I CAN is the leading children’s communication charity in the UK, working with children aged 0 to 19, their parents and the children’s workforce to ensure children’s speech, language and communication (SLC) development is supported, and communication needs (SLCN) are identified and addressed.

One in 10 children in the UK today have a language disorder they will not grow out of - that is two or three children in every single classroom.  And in some areas of deprivation across the country, as many as 50% of children start school without the language they need for learning (delayed language).  Left unattended, SCLN can have dreadful consequences for a child’s education, relationships (family, friends, the wider community), mental health, employment, life chances. 

Take a moment to consider how reliant you are on speaking and listening – what would your life be like if you could not talk, or understand when others talk to you? Could you have succeeded at university, or do your job? To say communication is a fundamental life skill is an understatement.

Project Summary

A donation from ICAP Charity Day in 2016 fully funded I CAN's 'Tots Talking' pilot site in West Somerset.

It didn’t feel belittling; it didn't feel like it was to get you.

Tots Talking is a programme developed in collaboration with a group of parents of two-year olds children, to improve their language skills.  The early years are hugely significant in the development of children, so the programme supports it by encouraging parents to use the types of language interactions which research shows to be most effective to promote language development. For example, parents gain an understating of, and then implement, turn-taking, sharing the child’s interest, adding on to children’s comments and other contingent behaviours.

Thank you to ICAP and all those who contributed on the day, for investing in I CAN!
I CAN Employee

Since the ICAP-funded pilot, Tots Talking has been incorporated in a significant initiative, DfE’ Early Years – Home Learning Environment, under the moniker of Changing the Conversation about Language, in larger sites across England (Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens; Bristol and South Gloucestershire; Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntingdonshire).  More importantly, Tots Talking has been shortlisted by the sector-leading Nursery World Awards in the category of “Initiatives – Working with Parents”.  Through this work, we continue to ensure children early’ development is understood and supported right from the start (0-4 years of age).