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Developmental Programme for 2-3 Year Olds


The Developmental Programme for 2-3 Year olds is a Department of Education funded service that is currently being delivered by all Sure Start Projects throughout Northern Ireland.

Who can apply?

  • Eligible families must be registered with Newry Sure Start prior to applying for programmes.
  • The child must live within the ward areas covered by Newry Sure Start
  • The child must be aged 2 years on the 1st of July of the intake year.
    *For the programme running 2023-2024, your child’s date of birth must fall from July 2, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

Programme Focus:

The developmental Programme for 2–3-year-olds provides age, stage appropriate play opportunities within an environment that is physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing for children.

We recognise the importance of uninterrupted play for children along with the freedom to explore and interact with other children.

We focus on developing children’s personal, social and emotional development and communication skills by encouraging imagination through positive learning experiences we aim to support children in the preparation to their Pre-school/Nursery school setting.

The programme aids to provide…

  • Opportunities for the development of children’s gross and fine motor skills both indoors and outdoors.
  • Opportunities for Language development through rhymes, storytelling, music, and dramatic and pretend play.
  • Opportunities provided to solve problems, express feelings, develop self help skills and have their views listened to and respected.
  • Opportunities to form social relations with primary caregiver, other children, and familiar adults.
  • Opportunities for exploration and early logic
  • Opportunities for artistic and creative development
  • Opportunities to make connections within the wider community and the world around them through planned outings and visits outside of programme.

There are 3 main commitments in the programe:

  • Group sessions:
    Each child will attend group session for no more that 2.5hrs per day the time allocated will be based on each child’s individual needs these session are delivered across three days per week it is vital that children have 80% attendance. Session runs from September – June.
  • Home Visits:
    Home Visits are an essential part of the developmental programme for 2-3 year olds 3 visits take place from September/June all parents must commit to home visits the purpose of home visits is to provide parents with an update on their child’s progress home visits also provide an opportunity to form closer relationships between children, parents and staff.
  • Stay and Play:
    Stay and Play session are held each month in the setting there are 7 stay and plays that take place from Sept -Mar parents must commit to attending.
    These session provide parents and children with an opportunity to have uninterrupted time together in the setting were child led play activities are provided parents can take away ideas from these session which can be introduced in the home environment.

Additional support is provided to all families participating in the programme from the wider Sure Start team. A number of workshops are delivered by Speech and Language Therapist and Parenting Support Worker throughout the year.

If your child does not receive a place for the programme they (and you) are still welcome to avail of any of our other services and programmes. Our DaisyMail is updated regularly or you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Eligible families must be registered with Newry Sure Start
  • The child must live within the ward areas covered by Newry Sure Start
  • The child must meet the age requirement for the programme – Age between 2 years 2 months and 3 years 2 months by 1st September

*For the programme running 2023-2024, your child’s date of birth must fall from July 2, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

Families living in the Newry City area (one of the 7 designated wards (ie) St Mary’s, St Patrick’s, Ballybot, Daisy Hill, Drumalane, Drumgullion or Windsor Hill) can contact our team via the Contact Page. Registration takes place by completing a confidential registration form.

It is FREE to register with Sure Start projects. All services are FREE and voluntary.

Unfortunately, we do not provide transport for this service.

Parents will be notified via letter of the outcome of their application for the 2-3 Year Old Developmental Programme typically by the end of June. Follow our social media channels or see our newsletters for the most recent updates.

Depending on each child’s individual needs, days and times will be catered, to suit each child’s needs.

The programme operates over Three mornings and Three afternoons per week.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be provided with the session that you selected, we will do are upmost to try accommodating where possible, parents are asked for their preference of either AM/PM, however this does not mean that you will be in receipt of this.

Children do not need to be potty trained prior to starting the programme.

2023 - 2024 Parent Resources

See other programmes and services Newry Sure Start offer. 

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