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Minister Zappone launches suite of resources for children and parents

Parents Centre contains information for parents and provides links to a wide range of trusted and high quality online resources including learning, parenting and information on supports that are available

Let’s Play Ireland is an online portal on, providing access to a range of play resources for children


Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone has today launched a range of supports for children and parents to support them during this challenging time. 

The new online resource for parents, entitled Parents Centre will provide additional support for parents and their families during this difficult time.

Parents Centre contains information for parents and provides links to a wide range of trusted and high quality online resources including learning, parenting and information on supports for parents. It is easy to navigate and will help parents access the information and support they need quickly. It will be updated as new resources and information for parents are developed.

Minister Zappone noted that

At this challenging time it can be difficult for parents to know where to easily access trusted information and support. Parents Centre on makes it easy to find the information required and uses the many high quality online supports provided by the public sector and our partners. Sometimes the volume of information available online for parents can be overwhelming and it can be hard to keep track of the many tips and resources promoted on social media. Parents Centre will ensure that parents can find the right information and support when they need it from one starting point. I would encourage all parents to take a look.

I am pleased that so many organisations, funded by Tusla, are adapting the way they provide their support services for parents. This is allowing them to continue to provide support through their phone and online services, as well as providing support and information through online groups and seminars. This is in addition to the existing helpline services for parents, details of which can be found at

Minister Zappone also launched an initiative for children Let’s Play Ireland  a resource to support children and young people’s play during this time.

Let’s Play Irelandis an online portal on, providing access to a range of play resources for children.  The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has worked with key experts across various sectors, Early Years, Education, Health, Local Authorities, Academic Partners in UCC and Mary Immaculate College, Creative Ireland, Tusla and others, in order to develop this resource. 

Launching Let’s Play Ireland Minister Zappone said:

Let’s Play Ireland is a government-led initiative which is designed to remind us all, young and old, of the fundamental importance of play.   Playing is central to children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing.  Children learn through play while developing resilience, flexibility and understanding of their world. Play in families enriches childhood and, right now, in the midst of these uncertain and troubling times, play is more important than ever.  Play connects us with others and with the world around us. Play makes possible!

I want to stress that this initiative is by no means intended to create another pressure for busy parents.  Rather the opposite, it intends to provide positive reassurance to parents about simply allowing their children to play and supporting a positive environment for this. The Let’s Play Ireland website will provide information on playing in a time of crisis, the right to play, ideas for play, playful families, screen time during the crisis and useful links and resources.

Notes to Editors:

Additional resources will be continually developed and added to the Let’s Play Ireland online portal on Over the coming weeks the campaign will focus on different themes including Early Years; Storytelling; Play for Play’s Sake;  Playful Learning; Play and Families; Play and Creativity and Play to Support Well Being

A key element of that support comes under First 5, the Government’s strategy for babies, young children and their families, and includes play and learning resources for children under 6.

These online resources are being promoted through the Lets Play Ireland initiative and will host the First 5 website,, with ideas and activities under the themes of Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework.

As well as activities for parents to enjoy with their children, the online resources also give tips on supporting children with their feelings, and ideas and activities for learning through play.

A number of early years organisations have been working together to support the development of these resources, including Early Childhood Ireland, the National Childhood Network, and Better Start. Early Childhood Ireland has prepared a number of videos on behalf of the Department which include early learning and care providers and specialists. These videos, which will be available over the coming days in the “Preschool at Home” section of the First 5 website, aim to inspire families to discover the learning and play that can take place at home.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs hope the ideas on the website will encourage parents to support their children to use their imagination and own experiences to explore and make new discoveries – from role play, to creative arts, to light play, to malleable materials and many more. The website also includes ideas for how to use resources that can be found at home.