SRF Program

  • smalltalk

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work, Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts.


    smalltalk comprises a set of strategies that can be embedded into supported playgroups and into the home environment of caregivers.

    The program addresses parents who may benefit from extra ideas about how to use everyday opportunities and activities to enhance their child’s early literacy and learning in the home.

    Detailed Costs

    Training is provided free of charge to Victorian Government-funded supported playgroup providers.

    Other supported playgroup providers across Australia can access training through the Program Developer.

    Pricing is determined on a case-by-case basis and depending on location and needs.

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: parents of children aged 12-47 months who are experiencing disadvantage. Group size and eligibility for smalltalk follows the Supported Playgroup requirements.

    Program / practice descriptions and details: smalltalk DVDs and manuals can only be procured as part of training. Samples for the Baby DVD and the Toddler DVD can be found on the program website.

    Training requirements: the training program comprises a prerequisite online component that takes approximately four hours to complete, followed by a two-day, active skills-based training workshop.

    Supervision / coaching: smalltalk facilitators are provided with coaching and implementation support to enhance their capacity to delivery smalltalk with fidelity.

    Staffing: the program can only be delivered by trained smalltalk facilitators. To be trained, trainees must hold minimum Diploma-level qualifications in early childhood or community services.

    Services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.       

    Factors to consider: the program developer offers consultation, training, and implementation support to agencies interested in incorporating smalltalk into their services.

    Consider how staff may be able to share the practice knowledge they obtain from this resource with others at the service. This will ensure that improved approaches to practice or innovative ideas can be implemented across the service as a whole.

    Tools and systems: to access the online training model, the use of an eLearning Hub is required.

    Australian experience: smalltalk was developed and trialled in Australia. In Victoria, smalltalk was funded by the Victorian Government of Education and Training and developed and rolled out by the Parenting Research Centre.

    Strength of Evidence

    Promising research evidence

    3 stars out of 5