Building a Foundation for Children
The Lifestart Foundation is a charitable body offering the Growing Child** — a parent-directed child-centred learning programme on child development delivered to parents of children aged from birth to five years of age.
The Foundation has its Head Office in Derry/L'derry, Northern Ireland, a National Office in the Republic of Ireland (Sligo), 16 affiliated projects and one outreach programme in Ireland, a National Office in Macedonia with 50 outcentres and a National Office in Zambia, with 13 centres. These bodies are collectively delivering Lifestart services to the parents of more than 13,000 children.
What is the Lifestart Programme?
A structured month-by-month curriculum of information, knowledge and practical learning activity for parents consisting of age-specific information on child development supported by art, story, music and movement resources tailored to suit each individual child and family.
The programme is delivered by trained family visitors in the parent’s own home – the primary environment for early learning and development. Research has consistently shown that experiences in early life create a critical foundation for positive health and later learning and it is in early life that children acquire the competence and coping skills that affect their life trajectories.
By educating parents on how their children grow and learn the Lifestart Growing Child programme helps parents to support their child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and to ensure that their children are ‘school ready’ at an appropriate age and are able to take full advantage of preschool and formal learning.
"The Lifestart Mission is to produce better child development outcomes by making available to parents evidence-based knowledge and information on how young children develop and learn".
** Authors who have contributed to the Growing Child are: Phil Bach, O.D., Ph.D., Miriam Bender, Ph.D., Joseph Braga, Ph.D., Laurie Braga, Ph.D., George Early, Ph.D., Carol R. Gestwicki, M.S., Liam Grimley, Ph.D., Robert Hannemann, M.D., F.A.A.P., Sylvia Kottler, M.S., Bill Peterson, Ph.D.
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