Need more help?
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else does. Sometimes talking to relatives or friends can be useful if you are concerned about your child. At other times, it is helpful to get some professional advice.
If you are worried about your baby’s or toddler’s development, you can ask for help from your public health nurse or your GP. You can also get practical advice from people who work with your child, such as a playgroup leader or crèche manager. It is important for children to get any help they need as early as possible.
Some children may need extra support when they start school, so you should discuss this in advance with the class teacher. If you think your schoolchild is having difficulty, talk first to the class teacher. You could bring someone with you, or have some questions ready, to get the most from your discussion. When a child has a problem learning to read and write they may need some extra help both at home and at school. If the problem differs with your child’s ability in other areas, you can ask for an assessment through the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS). Your child's class teacher or principal will have details for your area.
If you would like to improve your own reading, writing, numbers and technology skills, please call NALA on Freephone 1 800 20 20 65 or Freetext ‘learn’ to 50050. NALA can refer you to your local Education and Training Board (ETB) and give you the option of our Tutoring Service (see below). Our Freephone has been providing a confidential telephone service helping adults return to education for over 15 years.
See below a list of Irish organisations and websites that might be helpful to you.
National Adult literacy Agency (NALA) supports
Our supports include Learn with NALA where we offer free tuition over the phone to adults who have unmet literacy, numeracy and digital literacy needs. We can help with:
- reading, writing and spelling;
- ideas to help kids with homework while they’re off school;
- filling in forms such as social welfare forms;
- understanding health and financial information such as applying for mortgage relief.
With this service you choose what you want to learn. To get started ring the freephone number below and we will match you with a tutor. The tutor will then call you at a time that suits you. Normally phonecalls last around 30 minutes each week.
Telephone: 1 800 20 20 80
You can also learn online through our eLearning website Learn with NALA. Visit learnwithnala.ie to find out more.
Parentline is there to support you to deal with the challenges of parenting. You can ring and talk to one of our trained facilitators in confidence and without judgment. Parents phone Parentline with all sorts of problems. There is no typical call. Calls come from parents of new born babies, toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers and adult children.
Telephone: 01 873 3500
You can also visit their website parentline.ie for more information.
Webwise provides information, advice and free education resources about internet safety to young people, teachers and parents.
Dyslexia Association of Ireland
The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is the main support organisation in Ireland for adults and children with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which makes it harder for some people to learn, to read, write and spell.
Telephone: 01 877 6001
Barnardos works directly with children and families in centres around the country. Their support ranges from literacy support to assistance during difficult times. They provide listings of parent and toddler groups, parenting courses (including teen parent support) and other advice for anyone working with children.
Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) - Childline
Childline is open every day and is for all children and young people in Ireland up to and including the age of 18. You can contact Childline for free at any time of the day or night by calling 1800 66 66 66 or visit childline.ie for more information.
Citizens Information – Education
Citizen information centres provide comprehensive information on public services and on the entitlements of citizens in Ireland. They gather information from various government departments and agencies, and make sure that you have all the information you need, presented in an easy-to-understand way. This includes information on education. You can find more information on their website citizensinformation.ie/en/education/
National Parents Council
The National Parents Council is the only representative organisation for parents of children in primary or early education. It supports parents to support their children throughout their early and primary school years. The Council believes that children should also have their say in issues that affect their educational lives. You can contact the National Parents Council's helpline at the number below if you have a query on any aspect of your child’s education.
Telephone: 01 887 4477
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
The NCCA advises the Minister for Education and Skills about curriculum and assessment for early childhood education, primary and post-primary schools. They also advise the Minister on assessment procedures used in schools and examinations on subjects which are part of the curriculum. The NCCA has developed a number of resources to help you as a parent or guardian to support your child's learning in primary school.
Early Childhood Ireland
Early Childhood Ireland is the largest organisation in the early years sector. They provides information to parents about childcare providers, resources and parent and toddler groups.
Telephone: 01 4057 100
Schooldays provides a broad range of information to parents and teachers nationwide through the pre-school, primary and secondary years. It has a handy listing of primary and secondary schools.
Scoilnet is the Department of Education and Skills (DES) official portal for Irish education. Scoilnet collaborates with teachers to maintain and manage the content on the website. It has a database of resources including themed pages, reviewed websites, quizzes, lesson plans and crosswords.