First Words: Preschool Speech and Language Program of Ottawa

First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program offers services to families living in Ottawa with children, from birth to eligibility for Senior Kindergarten. The program focuses on the prevention, early identification and treatment of speech and language problems. The program offers support to parents, Early Learning and Care professionals as well as Health Care professionals.  This support is offered through health promotion initiatives, activities which focus on prevention education, by providing screening tools that lead to early identification, through assessments and intervention services for preschool children, and by assisting in their transition to school.

Children between the ages of birth and 5 years can access First Words, which is free of charge and delivered in both official languages. Services may be offered in other languages, through a Cultural Interpreter, when a family does not speak English or French.

We work closely with the following partners to deliver services to families living in the City of Ottawa and include:

Contact Information


  • Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or 613-PARENTS and speak to a Public Health Nurse about any concerns related to a preschool child’s speech and language.
  • Visit the First Words website to get information and tips on how to promote speech and language development in your child.
  • Complete the First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool to find out how your child’s communication is developing. You may also refer to the Communication Milestones listed on our website.
  • If you are still worried about your child’s language and speech or have been directed to our program by a childcare provider, community worker, health care professional, please call the CHEO Access Team at 613-737-2757 to talk about self-referring your child into our program directly.

Early Years Providers / Community  Workers / Professionals:

  • Visit our First Words website or call 613-688-3979 to talk to someone from our Health Promotion team.
  • To refer a child into our program, please visit the website for specific contact details

First Words is a partnership between Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the City of Ottawa and Andrew Fleck Child Care Services.

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