The Final Report of the Evaluation of The Nurture Programme: Infant Health and Wellbeing was launched today, Tuesday 17 December by CEO, Paul Reid.

61,000 babies are born in Ireland every year – that’s 1 baby every 8 minutes!

The Nurture Programme sets out to strengthen the supports that the HSE gives to every baby and their families in order to give them the best possible start in life.

Supporting early childhood is important as this is the point at which the child is developing most rapidly, and a healthy childhood has been shown to reduce health and many other problems later in life.


Key developments under the Nurture Programme include:

  • Ireland’s first National Standards for Antenatal Education
  • The website for parents and professionals
  • The new My Pregnancy Book, given to all pregnant women, and a set of My Child books for parents at birth and at age 2
  • A comprehensive training programme for all Child Health Staff, including online and face-to-face modules as well as coaching / mentoring in the workplace
  • A nationally standardised Child Health Record
  • A standardised child development screening tool to support parents and practitioners


The evaluation provides details on the process of implementing the Nurture Programme and on its impact to date. It also makes a number of key recommendations on the requirements to sustain this important work in the future.



Over the past five years, the implementation of the Nurture Programme has been led by a partnership involving the HSE, the Katharine Howard Foundation and the Centre for Effective Services with generous funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies.


The work commenced under the Nurture Programme will continue to be developed and supported as part of the National Healthy Childhood Programme.


Thank you to everyone who has supported the work of the Nurture Programme to date.

Further information is available at


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