Daisy O’Connor (now 6), Holly O’Farrell (5) and their classmates  in their junior infants class in Griffeen Valley Educate Together National School in Lucan, Co Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

When Holly O’Farrell started “big school” 10 months ago, her mother, Helen, readily admits she was more emotional than her daughter, who was 4½ at (...)

From left, Patricia Doherty, SNA, with Cian Corrigan-Griffin and his mother, Niamh Corrigan, at the ABC Club pre-school in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photograph: Eric Luke

A bunch of preschoolers are dunking their toy cars into dishes of bright coloured paint and then gleefully running the wheels across blank pages of(...)

Olivia Mai and her husband, Bartek Typrowicz, with their children, Anya (6) and Nicholas (3), outside The Stork Exchange, at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

It used to be a handwritten postcard of an impossibly idyllic scene that did the job. Now multiple photos of colourful cocktails, happy, sandy-face(...)

Kathleen Lynskey with her children, Simon (left), Timmy (centre) and Liam, and Spanish au pair Noelia Herrero Vazquez. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Shortly before Spanish law student Agueda Palomino finished as an au pair in Co Galway last year, she suggested to the mother of the three children sh(...)

While there is a very high rate of drop-out from sport and exercise among students in exam years, participation in sport is unlikely to affect exam performance negatively and may well have a positive impact. Photograph: Thinkstock 2:19

Some children dread the annual school sports day that is coming up any week now. They are probably the same youngsters who rejoice in wet Saturday mor(...)

Ann Marie Taylor with her son Jayden (2): During her time in Ashleigh House, Coolmine’s residential centre for women, Taylor was one of the first mothers to pilot a 10-week Parenting Under Pressure (PUP) programme. Photograph: Eric Luke

Living on the streets of Cork and pregnant with her fifth child after the older four had been taken into care, the future looked bleak for Anne Mar(...)

Emma Howlin with son, Ed, and baby daughter, Sadie, with some of their baby stuff at  home in Ashtown, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

How can one little baby need so much “stuff”? It’s a question countless parents ask when they’re tripping over things in the house or trying to lug(...)

Ann and Declan Smith from Tralee with their four grandchildren – Noah McMahon, Charlotte McMahon, Kyle Smith (back) and Fionn Smith. Photograph: Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus

Ann Smith’s chance sighting of a leaflet on the noticeboard in a delicatessen where she worked part-time was the catalyst for a life-changing decis(...)

Women are wonderful for celebrating and making connections and holding families together, whereas men can think in a linear fashion: What’s all the fuss about? Why do we have to do this? Photograph: Thinkstock

Throwing your house open to family and friends to celebrate one of life’s milestones sounds like a great idea, but the practicalities can threaten (...)

Youth mental health is such a “buzz” phrase these days that it is hard to believe it was hardly discussed in Ireland just a decade ago. The eme(...)