Five more early year’s settings in Lisburn have introduced an Early Talk Boost programme, which has shown to make significant progress in children’s early language by an average of six months after a nine week intervention.

This fantastic opportunity was made possible by the Early Intervention Lisburn Partnership led by the Resurgam Trust by identifying speech & language development as a priority in Lisburn. The Early Intervention Lisburn Project was initiated by the Resurgam Trust in 2011 to improve outcomes for children, young people and families in deprived areas of Lisburn.

Mr Adrian Bird, Director of the Resurgam Trust, said, ‘Research carried out in 2013 in primary schools in Lisburn highlighted 32% of our children were entering primary school with a mild to moderate speech & language problem. We have worked closely with the SEHSCT Speech & Language department and agreed that both of these programmes were the best approach to help improve this shocking statistic in Lisburn.

Research shows that early language delay impacts on children’s communication skills, educational attainment, social and emotional development and life chances particularly in terms of employment.

Mrs Hilary Johnston Principal of Harmony Hill Primary School said ‘Harmony Hill Primary School was delighted to host the training of the Early Talk Boost programme, and are delighted to introduce this programme in our nursery school to support children’s speech & language development. We recognise early intervention is extremely important to give our children the best start in their education.

The Early Talk Boost programme was funded by the Public Health Agency, and the early year’s settings who attended this training recently are:

Harmony Hill Nursery School, Tonagh Nursery School, Forthill Integrated Nursery School, Little Scamps Playgroup and Afterschool, and Seymour Hill Preschool Playgroup.