IN a world of iPhones and instant messaging, a nursery in Alcester has become the first in the county to be recognised for its work supporting the development of language and communication in children.

Alcester Nursery Studio has been involved a programme called Warwickshire Time to Talk for the last two-and-a-half years. Run by Warwickshire County Council and the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, the programme sees speech and language champions actively promoting the importance of talking to children in a world where technology – rather than face to face interaction – can sometimes take over.

Since 2011, staff at Alcester Nursery have worked with many families to support the development of language and communication in their children through the programme. Simple steps that support early language development, such as being face to face with children, repeating what children say and giving children time to respond and simply talking and playing together, are promoted through special sessions called Chatter Matters.

Penny Williams, the nursery’s speech and language champion, put together a portfolio of her team’s work to be assessed by one of the Time to Talk team, and in recognition of their success, the nursery is the first in Warwickshire to be given a Time to Talk Enhanced Award.

Nursery manager Debi French said: “I'm extremely proud of the team, and the dedication they put into their role at the nursery. Thanks go to all of the parents that have supported us along the way, as well as the rest of the team who have been full of enthusiasm."

Time to Talk will be running Chatters Matters Week between March 3 and 7, with lots of activities taking place across the county in nurseries and children’s centres with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of early language development.