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

506, 2020

Praise and Criticism – What Our Children Hear!

When children draw, paint or create new things they love it when we praise them for their hard work.  But how we go about praising our children can in fact have a negative impact.  For example your 4 year old has been experimenting and messing with paint.  Then they show you the work they have just done.  It is full of blues, reds and yellows and you exclaim ‘Wow, what a beautiful sunset’. Your child knows full well that the [...]

3005, 2020

Sleeping – And how to get some!

Good day all. Children’s sleep patterns change constantly during the early childhood years. In the first few weeks after birth, a baby seldom remains awake for more than 2 hours. They usually sleep for periods of four to five hours throughout the day and night. They normally spend a total of between 16 and 17 hours asleep daily. I remember when I had my first little girl. I got the biggest shock of my life. People say ‘get plenty of [...]

2305, 2020

It’s okay to let your child know you’re angry

It’s what you do with anger that’s important!  Everyone is born with the ability to feel anger.  Just in the same way we are born to feel happy, sad, fear, excitement and so on.  It’s true that many of us have been brought up to feel we should not show our anger. It takes a lot of effort to hide the emotions we feel, including when we are feeling angry.   You simply can’t hide how our body changes.  When we [...]

1605, 2020

Four Tips to Help Family Communication

Communication begins when babies are born as they start to communicate with their parents through movement, cries and facial expressions. Parents communicate to their babies by being responsive to those needs. This is the beginning of an ongoing communication process of giving and receiving messages that enables your child to develop and sustain meaningful relationships overtime. Your child’s first meaningful relationship is developed in the home between parent and child possibly followed by the child and sibling relationship; emphasising the [...]