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Chit Chat

CDI’s Speech and Language Programme

Oral Language support and development 

Chit Chat is CDI’s Speech and Language Programme. The programme supports the development of emerging speech, language, and communication skills for children and families. Chit Chat was designed and developed to provide early intervention for children with identified needs by integrating education, health, and childcare services to promote accessibility of services, facilitate collaboration across disciplines, and enable capacity building amongst professionals to achieve positive outcomes for children and their families.

What we offer

Chit Chat operates at three levels of service delivery (universal, targeted and specialist) in partnership with parents, early years services, and primary schools. We support parents and educators to help young children develop their listening, communication, understanding, and talking skills.

Chit Chat Universal offer

Talk to Your Baby

Talk to Your Baby is a joint project between HSE and Chit Chat Speech and Language Therapists. This project aims to put communication development firmly on the map for parents and carers from birth to 12 months. The Talk to Your Baby cube is a physical prompt for reading, talking, singing, and playing with your baby. Talk to Your Baby page has more information. Keep an eye on our event page for upcoming events.

Toddler Talk

Toddler Talk is an online parent training for parents and carers of children aged 12—48 months who are concerned about their child’s communication development or would like to learn more about supporting speech, language, and communication. The recordings are available below.

Toddler Talk 3

Toddler Talk Resources

Parents and carers joined us for three one-hour sessions packed with tips and advice on nurturing their little one’s speech, language, and communication development. Here are the links to all of the resources shared during the Toddler Talks.

View our helpful guide with information on speech, language and communication development from birth to 5 years.

Training for educators

We offer an online summer course annually for primary school teachers: Speech Language and Communication in the Classroom and Beyond.
We also offer local Talk Boost training to Early Years Educators and Primary School Teachers; see below for further information.

Chit Chat Targeted offer

We work with local Early Learning and Care Centres and Primary schools to support the delivery of Early Talk Boost and Talk Boost Key Stage 1.

Early Talk Boost is a targeted intervention for 3–4 year-old children with delayed language. The programme aims to boost children’s language and communication skills by an average of six months after a nine-week intervention in early learning and care settings. The selected children participate in three sessions per week in small groups. Session activities are fun and interactive and cover topics such as attention and listening, developing vocabulary, and building sentences.

Talk Boost KS1 is a targeted intervention for 4–7 year-old children with delayed language. The programme is delivered in primary schools by learning support teachers. It can boost children’s language and communication skills by an average of 9–18 months after a ten-week intervention. The children selected to participate attend three sessions per week in small groups, each lasting 30–40 minutes. Session activities are fun and interactive, covering attention and listening, vocabulary, building sentences, telling stories, and conversing.

If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, please refer them directly to your local speech and language therapy service. The HSE is the lead agency for children’s Speech and Language Therapy. Chit Chat SLTs and PCFs can support you with the referral process. Learn more about HSE Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy – Dublin South West.

Chit Chat speech and language therapists can see a small number of children each year for therapy. Spaces are limited, and there is no guarantee that your child will receive specialist support from Chit Chat. The SLTs visit the supported Early Learning and Care (ELC) setting, Primary School, to deliver episodes of care on-site. Parents and carers are key therapy partners for their children and attend all assessments and therapy sessions. 

Chit Chat supports the following designated Early Learning and Care centres and primary schools in Dublin 24:

Primary Schools
Knockmore Junior School
Sacred Heart Junior School & Sacred Heart Early Start
Scoil Chaitlín Maude
St Brigid’s Junior National School 
Early Learning and Care Settings:
Startbright Brookview
Startbright Greenhills
Naíonra Chaítlin Maude
An Cosán Early Years – Kiltipper
An Cosán Early Years – St Annes
An Cosán Early Years – Rainbow House
Barnardos – Millbrook Lawns

Like all our programmes, Chit Chat has been independently evaluated.  Key findings in the most recent evaluation found that a dedicated speech and language service would enable more children to receive the intervention earlier, which would help remove or reduce a significant disadvantage before starting school.

The service was piloted from 2008–2011. It provided therapeutic support to 192 children otherwise unlikely to have been identified, referred to, or supported through any existing service in Tallaght West. 18% of children brought into the service were discharged following a support period, meaning their skills had improved sufficiently to reach normal limits.

View the most recent independent evaluation or the most recent policy paper .

CDI monitors the impact of the Chit Chat programme on an ongoing basis, according to our most recent annual report on the Chit Chat programme.

We would be delighted to talk with you if you want to bring Chit Chat to your community, school, or early learning and care service. Our Implementation Guide outlines some of the areas you need to consider.

Michelle Quinn chit chatMichelle Quinn:
Chit Chat Coordinator & Senior Speech and Language Therapist
Niamh Egan: 
Senior Speech and Language Therapist
Marie Daly:
Senior Speech and Language Therapist