This research paper explains how increasing and improving practitioners’ knowledge of the importance and value of speech, language and communication skills contributes to advancement of educational, social and emotional competences; focus was on development for children in the Early Years. Proposed is the necessity to embed speech, language and communication development in practice, and the provision of a language and communication rich environment is considered a key strategy to influencing progress. The paper describes a research project that was subsequently evaluated using a multiple-method approach to afford a comprehensive analysis of findings. Outcomes were to highlight necessity for improvement of knowledge of less experienced practitioners, and added reinforcement for those who were relatively proficient; further, it was suggested that effective mentoring was required to maintain wide-ranging and continual growth of practitioners’ expertise. Development of confidence in subject knowledge was also essential in providing a child-initiated approach to learning; this, it claims, would enhance the fostering of a learning community which would place greater importance on the requirement for enhancement of speech, language and communication skills.