Resources to Help Your Child’s Speech and Language Development 

A number of resources and community programs are available to help your child’s speech and language development, monitor your child’s development and support your parenting journey.

Language Development & Milestones

Developmental Speech and Language Milestones from birth to 30 months  (Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services) – A list of speech and language development milestones for children under 30 months of age. Includes tips for encouraging language development. 

Red Flags for Language Delay  in infants and toddlers (The Hanen Centre) – A list of warning signs that may indicate a speech and language assessment is needed. Red flags are sorted based on the child’s age level. 

Let’s Talk! Tips for Building Your Child’s Speech and Language Skills  (Eastern Ontario Health Unit) – Information about language development (birth to five years) and videos with tips for building your child’s speech and language skills. 

When Children Speak More Than One Language  (Best Start Resource Center) – A resource booklet explaining how kids learn more than one language, what to expect and what parents can do.

Parenting Support

Pregnancy to Parenting Blog  (Toronto Public Health) – Credible information from registered health professionals with tips for new or expecting parents. Blog topics include infant and parent health, nutrition and communication development. 

Welcome to Parenting (Toronto Public Health) – Free online program for parents with babies 0-6 months. Find expert advice on child development, infant safety, healthy eating and more! Connect with other families in Toronto in the Parent Zone. 

Children See, Children Learn  (Best Start Resource Center) – Videos and tips for successful parenting. Topics include effective strategies for teaching your child, using positive discipline and more. 

Daddy and Me on the Move  (Best Start Resource Center) – A resource booklet with information and suggested activities to build strong relationships and support your child’s development. 

Community Programs & Activities

EarlyON Child and Family Centres – Fun, free programs for children up to the age of six. Each centre hosts a variety of play, social and literacy-based activities. Find a drop-in centre location near you. 

Toronto Children’s Programs and Activities – Information on child care services, recreation programs, camps, after school care and services for children with extra support needs. 

Toronto Public Libraries  – Free, early literacy and child development programs for families and caregivers with young children up to six years old. 

ConnectABILITY – An online community dedicated to supporting children and adults with special needs. Includes resources and information for parents and caregivers, including a tool to create visual supports at home. 

COVID-19 Resources

A number of resources are available to support you and your family throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the COVID-19 page for general information on COVID-19, public health advice, mental health resources and financial/social supports. Advice is also available for individuals with specific needs

Toronto Public Health’s Pregnancy to Parenting Blog  provides additional information on: 

Some EarlyON Child and Family Centres across the City are offering online and telephone services to support and engage young children and their families. Services range from virtual story time, craft, cooking and fitness activities to telephone services for families in crisis. Contact your local EarlyON Centre for more information on available services. 

Suggestions for at-home activities with kids are available from our partner agencies: 


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By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO