EIF maturity matrix: Speech, language and communication in the early years

Legacy Content

This project or publication was produced before or during the merger of What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) and the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF).

This version of the EIF maturity matrix is designed to support a system-wide approach to improving outcomes for children in the early years, with a focus on speech, language and communication skills.

The early years are a critical time for all children to develop strong cognitive, social and emotional foundations. Early language acquisition impacts on all aspects of young children’s development. It contributes to their ability to manage emotions and communicate feelings, to establish and maintain relationships, to think symbolically, and to learn to read and write.

As speech and language is both an essential building block for a range of cognitive and social and emotional skills, and predictive of a range of later-life issues. This means it is an excellent way of assessing typical development in the early years – a primary indicator of child wellbeing and social mobility.

This EIF maturity matrix includes: 

  • A brief overview of the evidence on early language development.
  • An introduction to using a systemic approach to improve speech, language and communication outcomes for children.
  • Descriptors for 10 key elements which make up an early intervention system which is focused on speech, language and communication outcomes for children in the early years.
  • A recording sheet, user guide and single-page summary of the maturity matrix.

Maturity Matrix


Looking to speak to us about something?

Contact Foundations

Related TOols

March 13, 2024

EIF maturity matrix: Maternity and early years

March 13, 2024

10 steps for evaluation success

Keep Up to Date

Sign up to receive our newsletter for the latest news, events and research from from Foundations

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information on how we process your personal data please review our privacy policy.