A retrospective evaluation of the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) Speech and Language Therapy Service was undertaken. The design consisted of two strands. The first was quantitative and examined the referral, uptake and outcomes of the service. The second was qualitative and looked at the implementation.
The main research questions were organised according to implementation of the programme; uptake and accessibility; and outcomes. The results of this evaluation suggest that the service succeeded in receiving referrals, assessing and intervening with 192 children in Tallaght West at an age when they were extremely unlikely to have been seen by any other local service and without waiting for a long period of time.
Parents echoed these findings by reporting that their children were more ready for school as a result of the intervention. Parents and staff were in agreement that the model was a positive and welcome alternative to traditional clinic-based therapy delivery, in terms of its on-pre-school site location, which meant the SLTs were literally and figuratively accessible to children, parents, practitioners and teachers.