Clondalkin-based organisation announces upcoming start dates for the free UpTo2 Programme aimed at new parents from across West Dublin

The focus of the Blue Skies Initiative is to improve the overall well-being of children and families by using evidenced based programmes which help parents to recognise developmental milestones in their children. The UpTo2 Programme is delivered in partnership with HSE Public Health Nurses, Deansrath Family Centre and Archways; with applications for the new course, beginning on Wednesday, September 15th in Kilcronan, Clondalkin now open.

Clondalkin Blue Skies

 

The 8-week programme helps expectant mothers in their role as a new parent and covers preparation for the arrival, Incredible Years Parent & Baby Programme, baby massage, first aid, weaning/feeding, sleeping and crying routines. The UpTo2 course also allows mothers and babies meet in an informal setting where they can learn, swap tips and ask questions of the specially trained public health nurses delivering the programme which has been designed to offer supports to parents from pre-birth until their baby reaches 2 years of age.

Project Coordinator Lorraine Doherty said: “Early childhood is very important in a child’s development. The ABC Blue Skies Initiative aims to embed evidence based programmes, such as the UpTo2 Programme for new parents, in the local community to help benefit the overall well-being of all children & families in the area.” In addition to taking referrals for the course in Kilcronan starting on September 15th, the UpTo2 Programme is also accepting applicants for the next course starting at the Balgaddy Child and Family Centre on October 25th.

The Blue Skies Initiative is also working with several local Early Years services in the area – including Dublin West Beechtree Community Childcare in Balgaddy, Dublin West St Ronans, First Steps in Rowlagh, Honey Bears in Quarryvale and Lively Ladybirds Daycare in Foxborough. Blue Skies has completed observations in a number of preschools and Early Start groups using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECER’s). Individual training and mentoring plans are being developed for each service based on the findings of the ECER’s assessment and Blue Skies will be working to support staff in the services to improve quality. The initiative has been running in West Dublin since September 2014 and has engaged with over 1000 parents and children in the area during that time providing free training courses, information sessions and supports from pre-birth to school.

Falling under the Area Based Childhood Initiative, Blue Skies is funded by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies and overseen by the Centre for Effective
Services and Pobal. The initiative is managed locally by a Consortium which is made up of members from several statutory and community organisations in the area and is led by Archways. To find out more visit the Blue Skies Initiative website and anyone who would like to get involved with the UpTo2 Programmes can contact Lorraine Doherty at ldoherty@archways.ie or
self-refer online by visiting the website.