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

2410, 2020

Crying in the Night

Crying in the night Halloween is upon us. I love this time of year. The colours in the trees turning from green to brown, orange, yellow and red. I always find this time of year gives me inspiration on what to wear.  And lots of ideas for arts and crafts for the kids. The nursery rhymes my children come home singing about ‘autumn leaves falling down’ and that one about the hedgehog always put me in a good mood. It [...]

1610, 2020

Understanding Your Child

The best starting advice any one can give you to understand your child is to try and see the world through their eyes. You as a parent can see your 4-5 year old child is changing drastically; they are growing up fast and developing at a rapid speed, they are becoming more confident, their conversational skills are improving with an increasingly wider vocabulary bank and they are able to express their feelings more confidently. Imagine what this must feel like [...]

910, 2020


"I’m scared"! We all know the sound of little footsteps coming running or the sudden cry... ‘MUMMY/DADDY, I’M SCARED!’  This can be a typical occurrence at bedtime for children of various ages. Maybe it’s a way of getting an extra 5 minutes of your attention. Or it could be a genuine fear that they are now put into a room alone, which may be quite dark and as my six year old says, ‘There’s nothing to do!’ Children are used [...]

210, 2020

Let’s Read a Story

Let's Read a Story Reading to your child is one of the most precious things you can do.  It relaxes not just your child but you. You are connecting in an intimate way that helps your child feel safe and secure. Reading to your child also paves the way for effective learning at school and later life. Many people are unsure as to when to start reading to their little ones.  Some leave it to when children begin to say [...]