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

708, 2020

Encouraging Special Gifts and Talents

Every parent wants their child to grow up into a healthy, happy and successful person who reaches their full potential. One way of planting the seeds of happiness and successfulness in your child’s life is to nurture the special gifts and talents your child naturally possesses from a young age. From birth to preschool age you watch your child grow and develop into their own person, beginning to show traits and characteristics of their own personality and their special gifts [...]

3107, 2020

Good Manners:  Are They Important?

What exactly do we mean when we talk about 'good manners'? Are good manners simply about being polite to others, or do they reflect something deeper? Good manners aren't just about ‘formal manners’ or manners we use when people call to our house for example.  It is true good manners, in part consist of everyday normal courtesies.  'Please’, ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and so on are great examples of these everyday courtesies. Well the truth is - good manners are [...]

2407, 2020

Staycation Travel Tips for Families

I think we are all going a little stir crazy at the moment and itchy feet now need scratching.  Everyone seems to be talking about holidays and getting away for a few days.  And with most governments suggesting we opt for 'Staycations' here are some travel tips to get your holiday off to a flying start. I'm not going to focus on COVID travel guidelines and common sense practice of social distancing, face masks and hand-washing as this should hopefully [...]

1707, 2020

Touch is so important for your baby!

The most natural gesture in the world for a mother is to reach out and touch her new born baby. To feel the soft skin, to count those tiny little fingers and toes, to stroke your baby’s cheek and hair. It’s an automatic feeling to do this and a positive one. In the hospital after giving birth you are told to do skin to skin so you bond much better with your baby and for your partner to do the [...]