‘My Baby and Me’ programme for parents

‘My Baby and Me’ programme for parents

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Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board piloted a new course for parents in Clare. My Baby and Me ran for 8 weeks across the county, taking place in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Scariff, Shannon, and Killaloe.

The course was an initiative by the ETB’s Further Education and Training Division Family Learning team and was offered free-of-charge to participants, covering a range of early learning topics and techniques including literacy, language and play.

Parents were encouraged to attend the sessions with their babies (and other children aged 0 – 3) and discover all the ways in which day-to-day activities can contribute to their children’s learning and development. With a welcoming, informal atmosphere, My Baby and Me offered a relaxed space in which parents could socialise, spend quality time with their babies and take away practical information on learning in the home.

As part of the pilot programme parents participated in a research project with Talk2MeMore. Talk2MeMore is an Irish software education organisation who has designed the first “Fitbit for words”.

It is an app that analyses the type of language used by parents, allowing caregivers to gain insights into their child’s language environment for the first time while providing daily tips and activities designed by Speech & Language Therapists.

Parents may not realise that simple things such as talking, singing and reading to their baby can have a huge impact on learning and ensure that the intellectual, physical, emotional and social needs of their children are met. This course provided ample opportunities for pre-school learning, to read new books, enjoy new sounds and make new friends. The Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board will be running further family workshops in the New Year.

If you would like more information, those interested can contact Mary Flanagan on 065-6897645 or search using the key words “My Baby and Me” on www.learningandskills.ie.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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