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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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Updated Guidance on Playgroup Re-starts

The Northern Ireland Executive has authorised the re-opening of childcare but this will depend on the continued progress....

12 Aug 2020


Coping with Covid-19 - What Just Happened?

What DID just happen? "Overnight our world has been turned upside down, or at least that’s what it may fee....

12 Aug 2020


Save the Children's Lockdown Pack for Families

We have just come across a lockdown pack produced by Save the Children and have reposted as it is full of wonderful....

31 Jul 2020



Playboard NI has created a fabulous bank of play ideas that could be carried out inside or outside.  We know that p....

10 Jul 2020



Most parents start potty training because their child shows an interest in using the toilet. They want to be like their ....

01 Jul 2020



BBC's Tiny Happy People is a great resource for parents of young children packed full of ideas and activities that a....

17 Jun 2020


Small World Play

What is small world play?  When engaging in small world-play your child will be using their toys to create&nbs....

16 Jun 2020


Family Support Hubs

“The Children and Young People's Partnership (CYPSP) Family Support Hubs continue to be open during the curren....

11 Jun 2020


Let's Make Puppets

PUPPET MAKING Puppets help develop creativity in young children, firstly through the process of making, and then, in....

22 May 2020


Coping Calendar - Action for Happinness

The world is in crisis. Keep Calm, Stay Wise & Be Kind. This Coping Calendar  has 30 suggested act....

19 May 2020

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