NEW INITIATIVE – Sponsored training in the Early Years Programme – apply today!

‘Supporting the Early Years’ – Parents Plus Early Years Programme  – Sponsored roll-out

Call for Applications 2019!

Supporting early years service providers in delivering evidence based parenting support

Parents Plus invites applications from providers of early years services in the 3- 6 age group, including pre-schools, primary schools, primary care, family support services etc. to participate in an exciting new initiative involving the roll out of the Parents Plus Early Years Programme (PPEY).

What will you gain from participating?

Learn how to: 

  • Help children be emotionally ready for the transition to school and to settle once they are there.
  • Engage positively with the parents who attend your service, preschool or school.
  • Solve behaviour problems collaboratively with parents.
  • Learn to deliver an evidence-based programme in your service with proven benefits for children.
  • Transform your practice by engaging in skills development, mentoring and supervision.

Successful applications will gain sponsored training, a full set of programme materials and individual support to deliver the Parents Plus Early Years Programme within their service.

Joint applications are encouraged from pre-schools and primary schools or small consortia of agencies working in partnership with one another that might include services such as, public health nursing, primary care, family support services etc.

A training cost of € 250 per practitioner is paid in advance by the service/school, this is reimbursed when two groups have been run in the 18 months following training. See below for further details.

Note: The parent groups are co-facilitated therefore a minimum of two facilitators need to be trained in order to deliver the programme.

Project Rationale

There is agreement across practice and policy that children are shaped by their early childhood experiences and that this is a crucial time to provide support to parents to help develop connected responsive relationships with their children.  The recently launched ‘First 5 Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families 2019-2028’ confirms a strong commitment to increasing access to parenting supports for families. In line with this, the focus of the Parents Plus Early Years Programme is to support parents and carers to increase their skills in positively engaging with their children, tuning in to their child’s needs and responding effectively. The PPEY has a strong evidence base showing a positive impact for families who attend the programmes in terms of improved behaviour as a result of positive behaviour management strategies, a reduction in parents’ own stress levels and an overall increase in their feelings of satisfaction as parents. Effective implementation is as important to the success of a programme as the evidence that it works, therefore implementation support, from Parents Plus to participating services, is a strong feature of this project.

Here is a link to the Parents Plus Early Years Programme research.

This project aims to:

  1. Increase access to evidence-based programmes for parents of children in the 3-6 age group.
  2. Help early years professionals to develop their skills in running parent programmes and engaging with parents in a strengths based way.
  3. Offer tailored implementation support to participating services (principals, managers and participating staff).
  4. Evaluate the practice impact of the project for professionals and services taking part.

What is included in the sponsorship?

Training and a support package includes:

  1. Training for a minimum of 2 facilitators in the Parents Plus Early Years programme (3 days, dates below).
  2. A full set of programme materials including facilitator manual, DVD, and PPEY Parent Booklets for the delivery of a minimum of two groups in the 18 months post training.
  3.  Supervision and Implementation support to practitioners, coordinators and managers in getting PP groups off the ground in their agencies, including some sponsored access to the Parents Plus Accreditation process

For successful applicants, a training cost of € 250 per practitioner is paid in advance by the service/pre-school/primary school. This amount will be reimbursed once two groups have been run in the 18 months following training.

There will be some support for covering substitution costs in particular for pre-schools where staff are running the groups outside of their normal roles.

The sponsorship package total value:

  • PPEY Training €430
  • Programme materials (DVD, Manual, Books) €300
  • Supervision and implementation support (follow-up training workshop, supervision sessions) €180
  • Substitution cover where needed (TBA according to service context)

The project is funded by the Parents Plus Charity.

What commitment is expected from the facilitators/agency?

If you are successful in your application to join this project the commitment is:

  1. Engagement in pre-training implementation meeting as part of the shortlisting process.
  2. Managers and participating staff to attend a half-day planning and implementation support workshop.
  3. Support a minimum of two staff to attend training and participate in the research element of the project.
  4. Staff to run a minimum of two groups in their service in the 18 months post training.

Time line

  • February 2019 – Call for applications
  • March 4th – Closing date for applications
  • March – April – Evaluation of shortlisted proposals (this will include meeting with the applicant group and assessing readiness for implementation).
  • May – selection of successful applicants.
  • June 12th , 9.30am to 1 pm – The Ashling Hotel, Dublin – Project launch, followed by a planning and implementation session for managers and practitioners.
  • September 11th and 12th (2 days) – Early Years Programme Training.
  • First groups to begin in Oct. 2019 and individual supervision sessions with practitioners to take place by phone/Skype.
  • Late Nov. 2019 (date to be arranged) – 1 Day Practice/Skills Development Training.
  • 2020 – second round of groups to begin & individual supervision sessions to practitioners by phone/Skype.

Selection Criteria

Priority will be given to applications who have some or all of the following attributes:

  1. The applicants group are a multi-agency consortium who have established links of working together to deliver family interventions.
  2. Some members of the consortium have previous experience of delivering the Parents Plus Programmes.
  3. There is buy in for the project at a senior level in the participating agencies and a clear vision for developing parenting supports.
  4. Identification of target group and locations of parenting groups.
  5. Identification of who the facilitators will be and evidence of commitment of their hosting agencies to support the project.
  6. Identification of a local project coordinator from one of the applicant agencies who can manage the project in partnership with Parents Plus


Parents Plus are interested in evaluating what the impact of this programme training, mentoring and support is on your practice and how you deliver your service and what the outcomes are for your parents attending. The main research questions being addressed are:

  1. What specific impacts does the PP training, supervision and support around practice development have on how you engage with parents and deliver your service?
  2. In what way do practitioners feel empowered by using this strengths based approach with parents?
  3. How does the programme impact on parents who attend?

The research element of this project will involve participating professionals completing surveys/questionnaires on their practice development, participating in a skills development workshop, taking part in a phone interview. The service may also be asked to recruit some parents who attend your groups to participate in a phone interview on the impact of the programme. The research is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Psychology, TCD.

Application and further information

To apply please complete the application form here by the closing date which is close of business on Monday, 4th March 2019. 

Applications should be emailed as word documents/.PDF’s to and a hard copy with the appropriate signatures should be posted to:

Parents Plus, Mater Hospital, Eccles St., Dublin D07 AX57.

For informal queries regarding the project, please email with your questions and include a contact phone number to

If you have a colleague who you think might be interested in this project, please pass on this information. You will also find a flyer here which can be downloaded.