Preparing for Life’s Home Visiting Programme is now open to all families expecting a new baby who live within our target area.
Please read the information on this page to find out more about who can join and what you can expect from the programme.
If you are interested in signing up, please fill in the brief registration form at the bottom of this page and a member of our family mentor team will contact you to arrange an information meeting.
Anyone who is pregnant and who lives in the following areas can join our home visiting programme:
- Bonnybrook: Adare, Bunratty, Ferrycarrig, Glin, Greencastle
- Kilmore West: Ballyshannon, Castletimon, Cromcastle, Dundaniel, Kilbarron, Trim Road
Each family is assigned a mentor who will visit them every month with tip sheet information and activities based around child development and parenting.
Visits take place in your home or elsewhere in the community.
Your mentor will work alongside you from pregnancy to when your child starts school and help you make the best decisions for you and your baby.
Our mentors are friendly and flexible and will be non-judgmental and respectful of your role as a parent.
You will be asked to take part in short confidential evaluation surveys. You can choose whether to take part.
Your family mentor will provide you with information and support that is relevant to your child’s stage of development as follows:
- Support and care during your pregnancy
- Information on labour and delivery
- Making healthy choices
- Bonding and attachment
- Baby massage
- Setting up positive routines
- Caring for baby
- Breast and bottle feeding
- Looking after yourself
- Safety at home
- Hand-eye coordination
- Feeding and weaning
- Good sleep routines
- Movement and thinking
- Listening and talking
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Sharing stories
- Common illnesses
- Playing and learning
- Language development
- Healthy eating choices
- Managing tantrums
- Toilet training
- Making good friends
- Expressing feelings appropriately
- Imaginative play
- Reading, writing, numbers and art
- Getting ready for school
- Triple P Positive Parenting Programme
Your mentor will bring easy to understand tip sheets with information and activities on:
- Pre-birth care for you and your baby
- Physical development of your baby
- Rest and routine
- Safety and supervision
- Parental supports
- Cognitive, emotional and social development
- Parenting skills and coping with family challenges
Your mentor will be flexible about arranging visits and meetings last between 30 – 60 minutes.
Who is my mentor?
Your mentor is trained in parenting and child development. She is here to support, advise and help you throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Who will my mentor work with?
We will work with mam, dad and anyone else who looks after the parenting of the baby.
What happens if I have a complaint or concern?
We will do our best to make sure that you are happy. If you have any concerns you can contact the home visiting programme team leader Val Smith on 087 2033820, 01 8771589, email@example.com
My partner is not interested in joining the programme. Can I join anyway?
What happens if I go away for a few weeks or months?
We ask that you contact your mentor or the office and let us know that you are going away and when you will be back. Your mentor will make contact with you then.
Do I have to meet my mentor every month?
Not if it doesn’t suit you. Visits might take place less or more often and your mentor will work this out with you.
What happens if I miss a visit?
We understand that life is busy and sometimes plans change at the last minute. If you know you can’t make a visit, please let your mentor know. She will make an effort to rearrange the visit but it is up to you to stay in touch.
Can I leave Preparing for Life?
Yes. You can leave the programme at any time. You do not have to give a reason if you don’t want to but we will ask you for any ideas you have to improve our services.
Can I re-join the programme if I leave?
We will do our best to welcome you back and will try to understand why you left. If you choose to leave and later decide you would like to re-join it will be up to you to contact us on 01 8771509, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the evaluation?
Preparing for Life will be part of a national evaluation. Your mentor will ask you to take part in short questionnaires (around 20 minutes) at 3 or 4 different times. You do not have to take part.
What does school readiness mean?
School readiness is more than knowing colours and numbers. It is about whether a child is able to cope physically, socially and emotionally in a new school environment. Being ready for school means that a child is able to:
- Pay attention in class and listen to instructions
- Make friends with other children
- Understand the teacher and ask for help if necessary
- Express his/her feelings appropriately
- Look after his/her belongings and himself/herself