The first 5 years of a child’s life are crucial. By supporting families during this early stage you can make a long term positive difference for children.Our Early Years programme is practical, solution-focused and draws on parents strengths and is suitable for parents of children aged 1 to 6 years, including young children with additional needs. It is flexible and can be delivered over 6-12 weeks in small groups or with individuals.
By training as a facilitator of this programme, you will learn how to support parents to:
- Help their children develop good attachments and relationships
- Manage tantrums and misbehaviour
- Build their children’s language and development
- Reduce their own stress as parents
- Help their children to concentrate and learn
- Increase their children’s self-esteem
- Establish positive daily routines
“We see the evidence.
The Parent Plus Early Years Programme has proven to be very successful for the parents we work with and is now a valuable and regular part of our multi-disciplinary team work.”
Kathleen O’Hara, Early Intervention
The Early Years Programme facilitator training is suitable for a range of professionals, including:
- HSE Primary Care Teams such as Psychologists and Public Health Nurses.
- Family Resource Centres
- TUSLA Parenting Support Champions Project
- Social Care Workers
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- TUSLA Child and Family Agency Child Protections Teams
- Progressing Disability Teams
- Preschool Teachers.
- Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC)
- HSE Sláintecare Healthy Communities
- GP services
- Children and Young People’s Services Committees
- Family focused charities such as Barnardos, Focus Ireland
- County Childcare Committees
- Regional Parent support networks
The Early Years Programme facilitator training is practical and solution-focused and will provide you with the essential skills and learning to achieve the best outcomes for the parents and families who attend your service.
The training focuses on:
- Developing an in-depth understanding of this programme
- Delivering the programme via face-to-face and online sessions to groups and individual families
- Providing opportunities to observe and practise the skills to become a solution-focused facilitator
- Building on parents strengths as a basis for ongoing change
- Strengthening inter-agency and community partnerships
The next facilitator training for our Early Years programme starts on 25th September 2023 and will consist of 5 online workshops via Zoom. Participants are also invited to complete a short assignment between workshops. A summary of the training is provided below and a detailed breakdown can be accessed here:
Goals, Background, Evidence-base, Positive Parenting
Positive Discipline, Problem-Solving, Routines
Groupwork and Session Delivery Practice
Individual and Groupwork Skills, Dealing with Challenges, Delivery Methods
Groupwork Skills, Delivery Methods
Parents Plus offer a small number of part-sponsored places on the training when accessing finance is difficult.
The Parents Plus facilitator trainings are open to qualified education, mental health and community professionals who work with families.
Our programmes are successfully delivered with impressive outcomes in a variety of Primary Care, School, Health, Disability and Mental Health settings.
- Attendance at our facilitator training for this programme is compulsory prior to delivering it to families attending your service.
- Parents Plus programmes must be co-facilitated, therefore, at least two facilitators need to be trained before a programme can be delivered to families in your agency. Facilitators who go on to complete our accreditation process are licensed to run the programme without a co-facilitator.
Please read our licensing guidelines here.
prior to booking a place on our training.
Studies in preschool, mental health and early intervention settings have shown that families who complete the Parents Plus Early Years programme report:
Increased child positive social behaviour
Increased school readiness
Reduced emotional problems
Decreased parental stress
Increased parental confidence
You can learn more about the impact of this programme, and all our other programmes here.
Research shows that families achieve the best outcomes when facilitators and their managers are supported pre and post-training to deliver programmes. We provide a comprehensive package of pre and post-training supports to our facilitators and managers in order to ensure a sustainable and effective delivery of the programmes within their agency.
Our supports include:
- Implementation support to get groups off the ground, including planning workshops and coaching for managers.
- Individual and group supervision sessions with an experienced Parents Plus Trainer.
- Advanced training workshops on specific topics.
- Extra resources to facilitate delivery, e.g. fliers, posters, certificates, practice articles, parenting articles, supplementary handouts.
- Support to promote your Parents Plus courses in your community.
- Advice and guidance on evaluating and monitoring outcomes in your agency to ensure your groups are effective.
- Access to two individual supervision sessions free of charge in the first year post-training.
- Sponsorship for further supervision is available on application.
You can read more details about our pre- and post-training supports here.
On completing the facilitator training for the Parents Plus Early Years Programme, you will be licensed to co-deliver this programme under supervision in your agency, to groups and with individuals. You can read our full licensing guidelines here.
The Parents Plus Quality Protocol is the basis of becoming an Accredited Facilitator. We
recommend that facilitators continue to follow the Quality Protocol post-training and post accreditation to ensure fidelity to the principles.
For facilitators who want to take their practice to a higher level, Parents Plus also has an established accreditation process which supports you to refine your facilitation skills and professional practice and reach a high standard of delivery. Representing a major CPD achievement, accreditation allows you to deliver our programmes independently and to work towards becoming a Parents Plus supervisor. You can read more about our accreditation process in the resources section.
The Parents Plus Early Years Programme package includes a wide range of materials to ensure it’s effective delivery.
- Two DVDs with 2.5 hours of footage of real family interactions, with comments from professionals and parents
- A comprehensive facilitator’s manual with detailed guides to plan and deliver each session, including how to structure group discussion and exercises
- Two colourful parent books, containing all the programme handouts and worksheets for participants*
- A copy of the book ‘Parenting Preschoolers and Young Children‘ by John Sharry, Grainne Hampson and Mary Fanning
- Posters to highlight key programme concepts
*In running subsequent courses, trained facilitators can purchase additional parent books at cost price. Trained facilitators are also licensed to copy worksheets and handouts from the parent books, as an alternative.
Parent Plus provides onsite training to organisations and communities in Ireland and internationally. This is a cost-effective way to train your team or to partner with other agencies to deliver evidence-based programmes in your area.
If you would like to arrange an onsite training for your organisation, please contact our Impact Lead, Vicki Byrne at
Change the future for families