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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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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

During the pandemic, many of us will have struggled with a mental health problem, or supported a loved one with their me....

10 May 2021


Deaf Awareness Week 2021

We know that the pandemic has turned most people’s lives upside down but for deaf children and adults the challeng....

05 May 2021


Screen - Free Week 3rd - 9th May 2021

Screen Free Week - 3rd May – 9th May. Screen-Free Week is an annual event where both children and adults are en....

04 May 2021


World Meningitis Day - 24th April 2021

World Meningitis Day 24th April 2021 Meningitis can occur at any time of the year, but it is most common in th....

23 Apr 2021


Play Matters Outdoor Play

  “Who can remember being outdoors building dens, climbing trees, making perfumes from leaves and flowers ....

22 Apr 2021


World Book Night 2021

"World Book Night is the annual celebration of books and reading on 23 April that brings people from all backgr....

22 Apr 2021


Department of Education: Public Consultation - Pre-School Admissions Criteria

  The Department of Education has published a consultation on Pre-School Education admissions. This consultat....

19 Apr 2021


Action For Happiness - Active April & Family Activity Calendar

These Action Calendars have actions to help families look after their wellbeing together in challenging times. "....

01 Apr 2021


World Autism Awareness Week 2021

"This year’s World Autism Awareness Week (29 March – 4 April) feels more important than ever.....

29 Mar 2021


Easter Fun - Play Matters

As the days start to lengthen and ‘spring is in the air’ make the most of the outdoor environment and try to....

26 Mar 2021

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