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With more children attending formal child care and limited speech language pathology resources, there is a need to consider alternate service delivery models. One such approach is clinician training of early childhood professionals (ECPs). To be appropriately targeted and efficient, training programs should be based on research evidence. This systematic review focuses on studies into which ECP skills improve child language and literacy. Databases searched were PsychINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, ERIC, LLBA, and Medline from 1990 onwards. Papers were included if they were (a) studies reporting the efficacy of professional development programs in terms of positive outcomes for both child and ECP, or (b) longitudinal or cross-sectional experimental investigations that examined the relation between ECP skills and child language/literacy outcomes. The initial search identified 212 potential studies with 34 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. These 34 studies included 2 longitudinal, 1 descriptive, and 31 cross-sectional experiments (16 randomized controlled trials, RCTs; 15 non-RCTs). The review identified four key skill categories: (a) quality adult–child interactions; (b) explicit literacy instruction; (c) storytelling skills; and (d) supporting peer-to-peer interactions. The inclusion of these skills by clinicians in training of ECPs is supported by research evidence.

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Journal Article

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