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Brief updates from The Nurture Programme

Just a small flavour of some of our work

December 2018

Launch of and new books for parents

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD launched new HSE resources for parents on December 6th:launch of mychild.ie

The resources are part of the public information component of The National Healthy Childhood Programme. They were created following research with healthcare professionals, parents and parents-to-be across Ireland and are designed to:

  • meet the needs of our users – parents and parents-to-be
  • provide evidence-based information from experts
  • make it easy for users to find relevant information

They were developed through the implementation teams of The Nurture Programme: Infant Health and Wellbeing. We are very grateful for the input of healthcare professionals from around Ireland - across divisions, programmes, CHO areas and hospital groups.

June 2018

Child Safety Programme - eLearning and updated resources launchedcsp materials

The Child Safety Programme is now available. It builds on the original Child Safety Awareness Programme (CSAP) which had not reached full national coverage.  That programme has been reviewed and updated to reflect the latest evidence. It is now available as the Child Safety Programme (CSP). Unintentional injuries (accidents) remain a major public health challenge.  They are a leading cause of death and harm among children in Ireland.  Children in the 0 to 5 year age group are most at risk of injuries in the home.  The Child Safety Programme (CSP) supports public health nurses in their promotion of child safety to parents and carers of these children during the child health contacts.  By doing so it aims to reduce the risk of childhood unintentional injury. The updated programme now includes the following resources:

These resources have been developed in consultation with HSE colleagues through the implementation teams of the Nurture Programme. 

Accessing the new resources

  • The eLearning module is available on HSELanD
  • Supplies of manuals, wall charts and checklists have been sent to DPHNs for distribution to each PHN delivering the child health contacts.  Each DPHN area will have received a three month (approx.) supply of wall charts and checklists.   Replacement supplies of these two items will be available to order from healthpromotion.ie.  These are restricted items which can only be ordered by a designated person in each DPHN area.  Further details will be circulated.
  • Guidelines and resources have also been developed to support PHNs delivering the Child Safety Programme.  These are available through the “For PHNs delivering the CSP” link on www.hse.ie/childsafety.  The username and password for that link has been sent to DPHNs for cascading to their teams.

If you have any queries please contact nurture.programme@hse.ie.  Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring this revised programme to fruition.  Its continued implementation will reduce the harm and deaths caused by unintentional injury to young children in Ireland.

May 2018

Sleep awareness training courses for PHNs.

A one day children’s sleep awareness training course for public health nurses (PHNs) commenced across the country this month. The course has been granted 6 CEUs by NMBI. The facilitators of the courses are Denise Gillespie (ANP Child Health and Parenting Donegal), Sinead Lawlor (PHN Pre School Children’s Sleep Clinic Kildare/ West Wicklow), Jane Dare (ADPHN – CHO 7 Dublin South West) and Mandy Gurney & Juliet Newton (Millpond Sleep Clinic UK).  The aim of the course is to give PHNs evidence-based knowledge regarding normal sleep patterns/cycles and sleep needs of children. The course explores the common types and causes of sleep difficulties in children. PHNs are given information to provide to families on establishing good sleep hygiene and bedtime routines, and can provide anticipatory advice in the prevention of sleep problems.  The day contains a mixture of theory lectures, workshops and case studies to aid learning. Participants are provided with a copy of Teach Your Child to Sleep (Millpond Sleep Clinic) and tip sheets from A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep (Mindell & Owens, 2015). The tip sheets contain advice on normal sleep habits and prevention of problems and common sleep interventions and can be given to parents.  Each ADPHN area will be provided with a copy of the Mindell & Owens book which gives access to the PDF format of the tip sheets. PHNs will then have online access to the tip sheets through shared drives or via email. The course has been delivered in 18 locations with 345 participants from Dublin, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Sligo, Roscommon, Monaghan, Cavan, Cork. The courses will continue to run in other locations in the Autumn. If you have any queries in relation to this training please contact: nurture.programme@hse.ie

 mychild logo

The beta version of mychild.ie has been launched and we are inviting feedback on this test site ahead of the public launch later this year. The beta site is a first version of MyChild.ie, the new HSE pregnancy and child health resource for parents.  MyChild.ie is designed to:

  • meet the needs of users – parents of children aged 0 to 3 and parents-to-be
  • provide evidence-based information from experts
  • make it easy for users to find relevant information

When launched, the website will have hundreds of pages. The beta site contains a limited number of topics across pregnancy, labour and birth, babies and toddlers and parenting. Many more will be added over the coming months.  Research with parents has informed the content, approach and design.  

To give your feedback on the test site, go to www.mychild.ie or email sorcha.nicmhathuna@hse.ie for further information.

March 2018

Review of “Caring for your Baby” books 

As part of the delivery of the National Healthy Childhood Programme, parents receive three Caring for Your Baby books when the baby is born, is 6 months old and 2 years old.  These books are provided to parents through the public health nursing service. The National Healthy Childhood Programme has established a governance group which is overseeing the review of the content of the books, the layout and design. We are consulting parents and practitioners. This work is being carried out in collaboration with a number of the Nurture Programme implementation teams in order to ensure consistency of information provided to parents.

January 2018

Highlights of what to expect in 2018 include a new child health website, a new healthy pregnancy book, standards for antenatal education, a comprehensive blended training programme for practitioners (including areas like development assessment, infant mental health, nutrition, growth monitoring and health promotion), the roll-out of a nationally standardised child health record and the universal delivery of an updated Child Safety Programme (including new training, PHN manual and materials for parents).

December 2017

  • The new child health and development website being developed by The Nurture Programme - Infant Health and Wellbeing will be called MyChild.ie.  Work continues on the design and content for same.
  • A survey of healthcare professionals by the Nurture Programme earlier this year has found that breastfeeding, nutrition and behaviour tips are the top three topics they are asked about by parents and parents-to-be.  Other frequently asked topics include (in order):
    • developmental milestones
    • sleep
    • parenting supports like parenting classes
    • growth
    • tips on how to play with your child
    • attachment and bonding
    • healthy weight management
    • screen time.

Dozens of other topics were highlighted from the use of soothers to reflux and from home births to weaning.  The results of this survey will inform our development of new materials and revision of current one.

June 2017

A brief update from The Nurture Programme - Infant Health and Wellbeing:

All six of the implementation teams now established:

  1. Knowledge & Communications
  2. Antenatal to Postnatal
  3. Training & Resources
  4. Infant Mental Health & Supporting Parents 
  5. Health & Wellbeing Promotion & Improvement
  6. Standardised Records for Parents & Professionals

Membership of the implementation teams comprises HSE staff and representatives from voluntary organisations and academia. Activities which have been completed throughout the last six months include:

  • The commencement of the e-learning modules of the training programme and scoping for the blended learning component.
  • Drafting of antenatal booklet for parents.
  • Development of content for the new child health website.
  • Consultation and surveys with the Community Medical Doctors and Public Health Nurses in relation to training requirements/resources and perspective on blended learning, content requirements for a child health website and perspectives/knowledge of infant mental health.
  • Reviewing content of Caring For Your Baby books in advance of overall review later this year.
  • The first stage of a staff awareness campaign saw the publication of an article on the importance of Infant Mental Health.

May 2016