Effective Communication with Children and Youth

On-Site Training Module

This module was developed as part of the California Department of Education/Child Development Division School-Age Training Project and revised in 2016 to incorporate social-emotional learning, character building and Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California.

During this training, participants will learn about effective and dynamic communication tools, strategies to check for understanding, and activities that engage young people in communication to support their social-emotional development and character building.

In this training participants will:

  • Understand effective and dynamic communication tools
  • Learn strategies to check for understanding.
  • Learn activities that engage young people in communication.

Content Overview: 

Piece It Together

Participants will reflect on the basics of communication and what creates effective communication strategies in working with children/youth in their program.


Participants will review a list of attitudes and skills essential in building relationships, and then discuss them at their table group. This will help participants work towards understanding their own skills as communicators and how this impacts them in their work.

Empathetic Listening/Checking for Understanding

Participants will learn about empathetic listening, checking for understanding, and how each of these topics can be applied in their work.

Strengthening Communication Activities

Participants will participate in two different communication-strengthening activities that promote the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively. This will increase their ability to lead engaging activities with children and youth.

Training Length: 2 hours

eLearning Module

Communication is expressing and sharing ideas, desires, and feelings with others. In addition to what we communicate, how we communicate is just as important to consider when working with children and youth.

  • Children and youth learn a great deal from listening and observing the adults around them.

  • Communication with children/youth contributes toward their learning and socialization.

  • Staff need to be aware of their interactions with children/youth and other personnel in order to ensure that their communication conveys their intended meaning.

  • Staff should be aware of their tone of voice, facial expression, body language, and how these may impact their communication.

By the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand the different ways we communicate with children and youth.
  • Learn strategies to check for understanding.
  • Learn activities that engage young people in communication.