“this is the best programme that has ever been run in the county, I can tell immediately which children have had parents receive the Lifestart Growing Child Programme; the children are school ready, able to sit at their desk and carry out the tasks given to them, and concentrate during class”

Primary School Principal

The Lifestart service will also be of interest to bodies seeking to promote better educational outcomes particularly among economically or socially disadvantaged children.

International evidence has confirmed that school-ready children adapt to and perform much better in formal education than children who are not school-ready (school-readiness is noted in the research as a direct result of good at-home parenting and a good home learning environment).

Educational bodies, organisations and foundations who aim to support education and learning among disadvantaged children have long supported the Lifestart programme particularly in deprived areas, among immigrant populations, or other socially excluded or disadvantaged social groups.

Teenage effects

The positive effect of good parenting on child development has also been shown to continue into teenage and adult life.  Children who have had a good start in life are much less likely to be involved in delinquent or anti-social behaviour or criminality.  Supporting parents, particularly those who have not had good parenting experiences in their own early life, can break the cycle of disadvantage.  It is for this reason that many bodies aiming to reduce the incidence of violence and criminality support programmes of this kind.

Parent Testimonial – Karen Dunne (mum to Braidan age 3)

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.

Each month he is visited at home by his family visitor Bernie and we receive the growing child handout, this handout is priceless to our household, it gives me insight into how Braidan is developing, we will also be advised of different activities we can do with him to help him reach his full potential.

Braidan started pre-school only 7 weeks ago and is the 2nd youngest in his class, 2 weeks ago he received his first school report in which his teacher described him as intellectually 10 months ahead of the other children, and I firmly believe this is down to the support my husband and myself have received from our family visitor, the lifestart programme and their guidelines.

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.