Purpose: To determine risk and protective factors for speech and language impairment in early childhood. Method: Data are presented for a nationally representative sample of 4,983 children participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (described in McLeod & Harrison, 2009). Thirty-one child, parent, family and community factors previously reported as being predictors of speech and language impairment were tested as predictors of: 1) parent-rated expressive speech/language concern and 2) receptive language concern, 3) use of speech-language pathology services, 4) low receptive vocabulary. Results: Bivariate logistic regression analyses confirmed 29 of the identified factors; however, when tested concurrently with other predictors in multivariate analyses, only 19 remained significant: nine for two to four outcomes and ten for one outcome. Consistent risk factors were being male, having ongoing hearing problems, and a more reactive temperament. Protective factors were having a more persistent and more sociable temperament, and higher levels of maternal well being. Results differed by outcome for having an older sibling, parents speaking a language other than English (LOTE), and parental support for children's learning at home. Conclusions: Identification of children requiring speech and language assessment requires consideration of the context of family life as well as biological and psychosocial factors intrinsic to the child.