An early years language
development project
The Glen and Mayfield, Cork
In Ireland, nearly one in three
children in Irish schools in
disadvantaged communities has
severe literacy difficulties .
- Eivers et al, 2005.
Parents are the primary
educators of the child and have a
pre-eminent role in promoting
her/his well-being, learning and
development. - Síolta ,2006
Supported by:
Tom Cavanagh
TomarTrust
Happy Talk Model
Coaching
Parent
child
children’s
language
improves
ECCE
parent
staff & child
Home
Creche
Preschool
Assessments & Referral
Nibbles
& Twitch
Junior Infants
& Beyond
Assessments & Referral
Language Rich Environment
Storybooks
Storypoint
Bus
posters
Newsletter
Book Area
audit/support
Whole setting
audit/support
Transition
Flower
Parents Plus
& coaching
Rhyme
& rap
PEEP
Challenges
•
staff ‘coachability’
• involving parents
• inter-agency working
Strategies
 understanding
 relationships
 flexibility






managers/ECCE
incentives
childcare
Borrow-a-book
branding
creche strategy
 top-down support
 supports made concrete
• quality in early years settings  mentoring
• behaviour issues / parenting
skills
 Parents Together
 parent coaching
 PEEP
• legacy
 manual
Some highlights
Engagement:
• 450 children engaged each year
• 100 staff engaged each year
• 789 parents engaged
• 127 babies & parents @ clinics
Referrals:
• 42 children referred to HSE SLT
• 28 Early Intervention Intake Forum & and Assessment of
Need Officer
• 29 children have been referred to SENO
•
89% of children referred from Happy Talk attended for
HSE SLT appointment.
Awareness:
• high levels of awareness of Happy Talk – building a
language rich environment
Measurable gains in children’s language development
13 pre-schools
6 creches
5 Primary schools
3 PHN clinics
65.0%
Results
Speech and/or language delay
60.0%
55.0%
50.0%
% of children with speech and/or language delay
% children with
speech and/or
language delay
reduced
45.0%
40.0%
35.0%
30.0%
60.4%
58.8%
25.0%
20.0%
43.8%
43.1%
2011_2012 n= 48
2012_2013 n=51
Year 1
Year 2
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
0.0%
Pre-Intervention
Post-Intervention
Thank you!
Recommendations
 Deliver speech and language interventions in community settings
 Support parents’ role through training & coaching
 Support quality development in early years settings
 Provide pre-service and in-service on speech and language
development
 Develop a collaborative interagency approach to service delivery:
statutory & community
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Happy Talk - Cork City Partnership Ltd