A new report has recommended the establishment of early intervention speech and language therapy services in disadvantaged areas.
The study found that such intervention can help to remove or reduce a significant disadvantage for children before starting school.
The finding is based on the success of a service, which operates in the Tallaght West area of Dublin.
The study was carried out by the Childhood Development Initiative which has been working in Tallaght West since 2007 to improve the health, safety and learning of children in the area.
An early intervention speech and language therapy service operates on a pilot basis there and has provided support to 192 children who, the group says, were otherwise unlikely to have been identified or supported through any existing service in the area.
The report found the roll-out of this initiative to other disadvantaged areas of the country would enable more children to receive intervention earlier, helping to remove or reduce a significant disadvantage for them before starting school.
It also said that educating parents on the need for, and value of, speech and language therapy was crucial to promote attendance at the service and it ensured parents were involved in the process.