Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Report to the Childhood Development Initiative.

ISBN: 978-0-9928763-8-8


The early intervention approach described in this report, which was developed by CDI and evaluated by Dr. Noirin Hayes and Judy Irwin, engages both parents and teachers in a meaningful partnership via a three-pronged approach, whereby the therapist works with the child and the parent/carer and the Early Years practitioner or teacher.We have long recognised in other domains, such as health promotion and youth crime prevention, that no single agency or discipline can fully resolve difficulties and this learning has been integrated here to inform an innovative and effective model that brings added value, minimises stigma and employs an early identification and engagement approach to ensure that children receive a service when they first need it and therefore require less intervention.

This 'Chit Chat' model of speech and language therapy epitomises this approach, in that it works to develop capacity amongst parents and practitioners; it identifies need at an early stage in a child's development and ensures that interventions are accessible and responsive.

We know that early intervention works best for children and families and that is why the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to the development of a new Prevention and Early Intervention Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.

This report offers important learning and insights not only on speech and language interventions, but more widely in terms of the central role of parents, the importance of service design, the value in having services delivered through mechanisms and structures which maximise participation and the immense value of collaboration, connections and comprehensive responses.