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Speech and Language Therapy (West Sussex) - Early Years

For children aged 0 to 5 years - Pre-school Community service

We are a locality based service which is committed to prevention, early identification and treatment of speech and language difficulties in pre-school children. We have a strong emphasis on parent involvement and evidence based services and we have strong links with:

  • Local Children and Family Centres
  • Health Visiting Teams
  • Pre-school practitioners

We also work closely with our fellow speech and language therapists within the pre-school complex needs team who are based within the Child Development Centres and work with children with more complex needs and communication difficulties.

We offer a range of services such as an antenatal advice leaflet, post-natal talks, pre-school practitioner training and nursery visits viaSaLSS (Speech and Language Setting Support) Team. We also run some of our clinics in the Children and Family Centres.

Early Years Settings

We work closely with practitioners in pre-school settings so that they can support the communication needs of children. Practitioners can refer a child to speech and language therapy, with parental consent, using the referral form. Please send the form by post to your local SLT Team. We offer training and support to pre-school practitioners via SaLSS (Speech and Language Setting Support). For more information about SaLSS please read the advice sheet for parents and training options menu.

Practitioners can contact SaLSS for training and support using the following email addresses:


Should I be worried?

You may have noticed one or more of the following in your child:

  • They are not saying as much as other children of their age
  • They have difficulty understanding things you and other people say to them.
  • They have difficulty being understood by friends and family.
  • They repeat words/parts of words and get stuck with words and their speech sounds bumpy.
  • They have difficulty playing with others and using language socially.

What do I do?

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language skills you can speak to your local Health Visiting (HV) Team or your child’s pre-school who can make a referral to the service. 

Your HV Team will also carry out your child’s two year review. At the review, you can discuss any concerns and difficulties that are identified. The HV will give you advice to support your child’s communication and monitor their progress. If no progress is made, the HV will complete a referral to the Speech and Therapy Language service at 28 months of age or you can self refer using this form. Please send the form by post to your local SLT Team. If there are significant concerns your HV may refer your child to your local Child Development Centre instead of the Early Years SLT service.  

Please read the ICAN Advice sheet which provides advice and strategies for parents.

More information

Further advice and strategies for parents can be found on these websites:

What happens next

Contact the Speech and Language for Children (West Sussex) service if you would like to speak to a speech and language therapist.