Chatterbox - Early Intervention Service

Who we are

Chatterbox is a prevention and early intervention service for children aged 0 to 5 years. It is part of Cavan/Monaghan HSE Primary Care Speech and Language Therapy Department. This service is delivered in Cavan and Monaghan Community Healthcare Networks (CHN).  Our goal is to prevent, identify early, or minimise speech, language and communication difficulties. Chatterbox works alongside those from the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.

What we do:

  • screening in pre-schools to identify speech and language needs
  • parental training/coaching; for example, Elkan Let’s Talk with Under 5’s
  • childcare staff training/coaching, for example,
    • o webinars on specific topics with follow-up coaching
    • o Elkan Speech and Language support for 3-5’s with refresher sessions
    • o train the trainer courses for childcare staff so that they can deliver Elkan Let’s Talk training for parents within their setting
  • support within community groups - these include parent & toddler and breastfeeding groups
  • specific support in childcare settings for children with identified speech, language and communication needs
  • involvement in parenting or childcare events within the community
  • home visits to support children at risk of developing speech, language and communication difficulties
  • make onward referrals to other services

We help children who:

  • are late to talk
  • are hard to understand or have trouble saying their speech sounds
  • don’t follow instructions well (they may not understand)
  • have a reduced vocabulary
  • don’t talk in sentences
  • stammer (are non-fluent)
  • have a continually hoarse voice
  • are at increased risk of developing speech, language and communication difficulties

Why we do it

Prevention and early identification and intervention is important. Speech, language and communication skills can impact other areas of development. These areas include; social, emotional, learning and behavioural development.

The goals of the Chatterbox service fit with those of the Community Healthcare Networks. These shared goals include:

  • working collaboratively to provide child- centred care
  • provision of a more locally accessible service
  • early intervention and prevention of needs
  • improve access to services

The Chatterbox service is currently engaging in a 2-year research project with Ulster University. This research is hoped to lead to the improvement and enhancement of the service.

A 12-month pilot project to widen the Chatterbox service to include Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy is currently being finalised. This will commence in Co. Monaghan in 2024.


For further information on how to access the Chatterbox Service please contact:

Elizabeth Downey (Senior Speech and Language Therapist)   Phone: 087 104 0984

Carmel Feely (Speech and Language Therapy Assistant) 

Email:          Phone: 0871187849   

The Chatterbox Service,  Monaghan Primary Care Centre, St. Davnet's Complex, Rooskey, Monaghan, Co. Monaghan H18 DE78