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

1809, 2020

A World of Adventure – In your Kitchen!

This week we will look at a few topics covered in Issue 16/Month 16 of our Growing Child Programme. Your little one’s ability to understand what is heard (receptive language) is still growing much faster than their speech (expressive language).  So share as many words as you can with them as you're helping them build their own bank of words as their speech develops. At 16 months toddlers like to engage in playful physical activity, carry things while walking and [...]

409, 2020

Shaping Ourselves and Our Children – SOOC

Shaping Ourselves and Our Children or SOOC (pronounced sock) is one of our programmes on offer from the team here at Lifestart.  We are so excited about going into our 3rd year of SOOC and even though the way we do things has changed we are pleased to say that SOOC is still the same! Parenting is fun, it is so rewarding but it is not without its challenges.  I think it is also one of those things where there [...]

2208, 2020

Preparing your Child for Primary School

In less than two weeks, your pre-school child will have reached a major milestone in their life by starting primary school. In any normal school year, this can be both an exciting, nervous and scary time for both parent and child. Starting school in the middle of a pandemic adds extra concern for both the parent and child creating anxiety and worry around the health, well-being and safety of the child. To help ease these concerns we must remember that [...]

1508, 2020


Shyness is an important topic during preschool years as social interaction is needed for a young child’s social development. It is also essential for good physical, emotional and intellectual development. Around 15 % of children display shy characteristics and research shows that shyness can be seen from as early as 4 months old, when infants react to new objects or even coos in a distressful manner. Research shows the causes of shyness come from several factors such as genetics, personality, [...]