The programme for parents

Lifestart has 30 years’ experience in helping people develop as parents. Our work focuses on the building blocks of child development: parent/child attachment, bonding and interaction, language development, play and most of all, love. Find out here what our parents think of our work.

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The Growing Child


The Growing Child gives an easy and enjoyable step-by-step guide to how children develop

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The Growing Child is available as a franchise to organisations supporting children and their families

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Out of the range of good quality parenting programmes available, the Lifestart programme is highly cost effective and for a structured evidence-based programme, is sufficiently flexible at the point of delivery to allow for adaptation in response to need

Prof. E. Melhuish (2015)

My son Braidan began on the Lifestart programme when he was 6 months old. Braidan turned 3 on 24 November 2012 and I cannot put into words just how valuable the programme has been to his overall development.

Lifestart has been a priceless asset to our family life, I have received the support every 1st time mum needs to help my child develop to the best of his ability and already at 3 years old his advanced skills are shining through.

Karen - Mum to Braidan age 3

I just want commend you and the Lifestart Programme as after attending a Nursery meeting at School, discussing curriculum, child development and what types of ‘play’ are encouraged, the topics covered in the programme and the advice you give are so relevant and on point. Thank you.


Thank you Lifestart Programme Team for your knowledge, support and all hard work put into it. You are really helping us (parents) now and truly creating a better future for our children by helping them to become better human beings.

Alex, Eugenia and Nina

The programme was so convenient with the family visitor calling to my home and the family visitor always scheduled the appointments that suited me.

Fiona, a very happy parent

Just to let you know and say thanks for a little girl whom you saw, and I had been seeing at my clinic. The tasks and skills that the Lifestart worker instructed mum with and the Naonra class etc. has helped [name removed] greatly and she has improved an awful lot…

Dr. L. McBride, Senior Medical Officer Child Health, HSE, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Parenting Tips

412, 2020

Special Time

Every minute we share with our children is special, but with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how much of this time do we actually give our full commitment and attention. How many times has your child asked you to look at something like a wonderful Lego invention or a magnificent art masterpiece? You tell them how amazing it is without taking a second to stop and appreciate their effort.  Not because you don’t appreciate it, but you are [...]

2011, 2020

Baby’s Feet

Baby’s Feet As you look at your child’s feet you may wonder if she has flat feet because you cannot see a long arch. In month 13 of the Growing Child booklets we look at your Baby’s Feet! Such an important part of a baby’s body. They can learn so much through the sense of touch in their tiny little feet. They love to have their feet touched and lightly tickled. This is why we sing the song ‘This little [...]

1311, 2020

2020 – A Year of Many Challenges!

Lifestart’s Partners and Shaping Ourselves and Our Children (SOOC) have adapted in so many ways to ensure that we can still work with parents and receive the support that Lifestart is renowned for.  We have captured some of our work through interviews and photos and would love to share this with you.  So instead of blogging this week we are going to share our latest video! Working through a pandemic – Lifestart Video 

611, 2020


How Labels can affect our Children                 There are many types of labels that we as parents/carers give our children, these can be terms of endearment or are said at times of huge frustration or stress. Nonetheless they can have a huge impact on a child, whether meant or not. Can you remember back to being a young child, where you ever described by an adult in a particular way?  How did this make you feel, perhaps it is something that [...]