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Welcome Parents

If your child is attending a DE funded playgroup or nursery school in Northern Ireland you will probably have heard of the Getting Ready to Learn programme and participated through stay and plays, information sessions, pyjama parties and received book bags and home lending packs. Some of you may know the programme through Big Bedtime Read, our most popular theme.

As parents, you are your child’s first and most important educator. Playing, reading and talking to your child will greatly increase your child’s language skills and how well they do at school. The earlier we begin these activities with our children the better the results and the longer they will last.

This section of our website is updated regularly with ideas and suggestions to support the development of the preschool child. Please feel free to download, use and share these resources with friends and family.

If your child is attending a nursery or preschool that delivers the Getting Ready to Learn Programme you will be able to access more resources, ideas and activities through our dedicated parent area. To create an account please contact your child’s preschool who will provide you with an invite code and instructions noted in the setting tab area. Once you have an invite code please click here to create your account.

How every child can thrive by five (Molly Wright | TED and Minderoo Foundation)

"What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?" asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. Breaking down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children's healthy brain development, Wright highlights the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behavior and well-being, sharing effective strategies to help all kids thrive by the age of five. She's joined onstage by one-year-old Ari and his dad, Amarjot, who help illustrate her big ideas about brain science. (This TED Talk was produced in collaboration with Minderoo Foundation as an educational tool for parents and caregivers around the world and is supported by UNICEF.)

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Letter from Minister to Parents and Carers relating to new school year - August 2021

To help ensure that the new academic year is as safe, productive and enjoyable as possible for all concerned, my Depar....

26 Aug 2021


Free Courses: AWARE - Looking After Your Mental Health During Pregnancy and Parenthood


23 Aug 2021


Happy Healthy Kids: Nutrition Information Sessions - Sept '21

Sign up for these FREE online nutrition sessions taken by Registered Dietitians throughout September. Anyone can att....

20 Aug 2021


COVID19 Update From Minister of Education - August 2021

Schools will no longer be required to use formal bubbles following an agreement by the Executive. Face coverings will....

17 Aug 2021


Summer Reading Challenge - Libraries NI - Wild World Heroes

Children aged 4-11 years old can now register for Libraries NI, Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge which will ta....

08 Jul 2021


Launch of ‘Talk with Me’ Campaign Page

Please see link to the newly launched Welsh Government "Talk with Me" campaign page.  

28 Jun 2021


Tips for Parents by Northern Ireland Health and Wellbeing Champion

This week is Infant Mental Health week, and Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan O&r....

08 Jun 2021


Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 -

This week is Infant Mental Health week, and Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan....

08 Jun 2021


SureStart - Speech, Language & Communication News - MAY 2021

"The Sure Start projects in Northern Ireland (NI) play a vital role in helping to improve attainment and outc....

26 May 2021


Play Matters, Parenting NI & Family Wellness Project - Mental Health Resources

Play Matters – Nurturing Your Child’s Mental Health through Play “Play is crucial to children....

14 May 2021

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