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

2401, 2020

Tumbling Towards Two – Good Discipline Starts at Home

Happy Friday our lovely followers … a little happy jump in our hearts as we are approaching the end of January. We are slowly leaving winter months and approaching the Spring months which I just love. The evenings are getting that wee bit brighter each day and the mornings are getting slightly easier to get out of bed. The sight of the first daffodil bulb peeping through the soil, birds chirping in the morning, buds of spring showing their heads [...]

1801, 2020

No, no, no! What children hear!

What to do when your young toddler who now has lots of words but just says NO, NO, NO!   It seems to be their new favourite word.  Well, this may be because to them it seems to be our favourite word.  I certainly remember when my daughter turned 2 going through a phase and it didn’t matter where or what we were doing everything was NO! Trying to figure out why she was constantly using this word, thankfully didn’t take [...]

1001, 2020

What’s important in the life of a 14 month old?

And we're back again. I hope you are all well and are back into the swing of things again. School lunches, school uniforms, back into the routine of playgroup and eating healthy... or trying to.  I know I am trying hard to drink more water and bring fruit wherever I go until my trousers fit nicely again! For this week I am going to focus on the 14 month old in your life.  The months are flying in and your [...]

1712, 2019

How do toddlers and young children learn?

Toddlers and young children learn through copying (imitating) what we do. Imitation involves both play and learning for your toddler and young child and can be split into three areas: (1) They learn how to do so much by watching how we do things. When you notice your child is copying you it is easier to teach something new by showing them rather than telling them.  Your child may be copying you even though it may not be obvious, for [...]