Communication Friendly Settings for 3- to 5-year-olds

Communication Friendly Settings is a program that helps kindergarten staff develop the skills and knowledge they need to support children's communication development.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication (language development)
  • Primary audience: Educators
  • Delivery mode: Resources (books, kits, manuals), group training, coaching, online
  • Strength of evidence: Level 3 – Promising research evidence
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Language and cognitive development basic literacy
    • Language and cognitive development interest literacy/numeracy and memory
    • Communication skills and general knowledge communication and general knowledge
  • Item cost: Variable

Program description

Communication Friendly Settings is a two-part program which develops the knowledge, skills and confidence of kindergarten staff. It aims to change practice so that all children’s communication development is supported during all kindergarten activities.

In Part 1, 2 kindergarten educators undertake the professional development program: Speech and Language Support for 35s (SLS 35s). This program is at the level of a Certificate IV course and comprises of 10 online modules delivered over 10 weeks. Learners also receive an e-book supporting the course, which provides practical detailed advice and activities to promote speaking and listening. Successful completion is certified by Elklan.

Part 2 is optional. Educators who have completed the SLS 35s professional development program share their knowledge with other staff, action plan, and make and embed change in practice, so that their kindergarten becomes a Communication Friendly Setting. These educators deliver 5 one-hour training sessions (Communication Counts) to all kindergarten staff, who then participate in ‘Challenges’ to create a Communication Friendly Setting. Successful learners are certified by Elklan and the kindergarten gains a Communication Friendly Setting status.

Please email to book places on Elklan courses.

Detailed cost

Part 1: Speech and Language Support for 35s

  • $637 per participant (including GST)
  • Includes access to eLearning sessions, eBook and course handbook, 10 live webinars, use of online Learning Log, marking, and certification by Elklan

Part 2: Communication Friendly Settings

  • $1,582 per kindergarten (including GST)
  • Includes webinars and tutoring/support, manual (hard copy), Learning Log, marking, and certification by Elklan of the setting and 2 learners

Total cost of the program (Parts 1 and 2)

Per kindergarten, 2 early childhood educators receiving all direct training: $2,856 (including GST).


  • Where a kindergarten has fewer than 10 staff, only one early childhood educator will receive the direct training, giving a per-kindergarten price (Parts 1 and 2) of $1,817
  • Optional hard copy manuals for Part 1: $65
  • Face-to-face delivery of the program is possible where cohort sizes are 10 to 15. Additional costs apply

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: kindergarten educators.
  • Program adaptability: Minimum of 10 educators for part one, and 6 educators for Part 2, are required for program delivery.
  • Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource. The time commitment is estimated at 40 to 50 hours for Part 1, 19.5 hours for the lead communication practitioners for Part 2, and 6.25 hours for all other kindergarten staff.
  • Training requirements: Participants should have minimum 2 years’ experience in working with 3 to 5 year olds and have previously undertaken study at Certificate IV level.
  • Tools and systems: Digital devices are required to access the online course and e-book.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • Partnerships with families
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • High expectations of every child
  • Equity and diversity, Integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • Assessment for learning and development
  • Partnership with professionals

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.