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

1007, 2020

Tummy Time!

An expression you start to hear a lot about when you have a baby. My health visitor, midwives, parents and friends were all talking about ‘Tummy Time’. I used to dread it as my first child Lucia would scream every time I turned her on her stomach and I felt I was torturing her. However, I soon realised how useful it was for her neck development and sight development. Then I decided to persevere as I knew it was for [...]

307, 2020

Physical Development – What are Motor Skills?

Childcare professionals and teachers often talk about ‘Motor Skills’ in relation to our children’s physical development. Sometimes we as parents aren’t too sure what they are talking about or what type of motor skill is what! This week I am going to look at this to help us understand what is going on in our children’s bodies and their physical development.  Parents already on the Growing Child programme will have been introduced to this topic when their children were much [...]

2606, 2020

The Naming Game

The summer months are here…at last. This year will be different with the kids as we have already spent such a long time at home. It’s a hard time but a wonderful time. When will we ever get time like this time again to spend with our families and watch our children grow? We are all starting to realise how much time we actually spend at work or at other activities outside of our family life. I really like ‘The [...]

1906, 2020

Showing respect for our child’s feelings

Last week Sharleen looked at racism and discrimination.  Respect for others is a willingness to understand each other. Understanding of how others feel.  By respecting each other's feelings we can develop rich, meaningful relationships.  So when and how do we develop an understanding of feelings for others? It begins early in life! Research studies and experience with child rearing highlight how much children learn by imitating others.  In earlier blogs we talked about how young children learn and how important [...]