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About Us

Providence Talks

Our History

Providence Talks was developed during Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2013 Mayors Challenge. The Mayors Challenge is an ideas competition that encourages cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life -and that have the potential to spread to other cities. The City of Providence was the grand prize winner of the challenge and piloted the program with partner organizations throughout the City of Providence in 2015.  When the initial Bloomberg Philanthropies’ funding finished in 2018, the City of Providence prioritized investing City dollars to this important program. In 2019, Federal Hill House became the sole provider of Providence Talks Programming, in direct partnership with the City of Providence.

In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that five cities would be funded to replicate Providence Talks: Birmingham, AL; Detroit, MI: Hartford, CT; Louisville, KY; Virginia Beach, VA.

Today, Providence Talks continues to use technology from the LENA Research Foundation that measures the number of words that children are hearing and the amount of parent-child interactions that are taking place in the home. We offer 1:1 and playgroup models, and are developing pilot Providence Talks programming in our Early Learning Center.

Why it works


We believe that parents who play, read and talk with their children lay the foundation for language and learning success, and we’re here to help. We offer the only language enrichment program that brings parents, children, and educators together to build the skills and confidence needed to enhance language development and learning during the critical early years of 0-3.

The time is now to start

Talking To Your Baby

For a child’s vocabulary to develop appropriately, children need to hear at least 21,000 words per day – the rough equivalent of reading Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat nearly a dozen times a day.

Providence Talks Parent Educators will: 

  • help you understand the science behind early language development 
  • offer weekly sessions to guide you in increasing interactive talk with your child
  • recommend play techniques to increase vocabulary and language skills
Meet OUR


Staff Member
Staff Member
Staff Member
Staff Member


Providence Talks is sponsored by Federal Hill House, whose mission is the strengthen family and community life in Providence through education, opportunities, and support, at every stage of life. 

The City of Providence invests in its children, families, and the future by funding Providence Talks.

LENA “builds brains through early talk” by providing word pedometer technology that measures progress and provides feedback for families and educators.

Providence Community Libraries hosts Providence Talks playgroups throughout the city, making them easily accessible to families and promoting a love for libraries and their resources.  

Vroom is a website that provides free, science-based tips and tools help parents and caregivers give children a great start in life today—and an even better future.