Blue Skies Initiative (ABC Programme)

Blue Skies Initiative is the name of the Consortium in the Clondalkin area under the Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC). The ABC Programme is an innovative prevention and early intervention initiative consisting of committed funding for an area-based approach to helping to improve outcomes for children by reducing child poverty. The initiative is managed locally by the Consortium which is made up of members from several statutory and community organisations in the area and is led by Archways. Blue Skies Initiative is designed to improve the overall well-being for children and families in the area.

Blue Skies Initiative ABC Programme Vision

An Ireland where no child is impacted by poverty and all children are supported to reach their full potential.

Blues Skies Initiative ABC Programme Mission

Through prevention and early intervention approaches, Blue Skies Initiative aims to work in partnership with families, practitioners, communities, and national stakeholders to deliver better outcomes for children and families living in areas where poverty is most deeply entrenched.

Blue Skies Initiative Programme Objectives

  • Support children at critical stages of their development and wellbeing and through key transitions, with a particular focus on pre-birth to six years of age.
  • Translate the science of early childhood development and evidence-informed practice into locally appropriate programmes and approaches.
  • Mitigate the impact of intergenerational poverty and improve outcomes for children and families.
  • Take a progressive universal approach to addressing child poverty.
  • Actively support and work in partnership with parents as the primary carers and educators in their children’s lives.
  • Enhance the provision of quality prevention and early intervention approaches by developing workforce capacity (education, training, coaching, mentoring and reflection) across children’s services.
  • Utilise and enable whole-systems, multi-stage processes to enhance children’s services and practice at local and national level to improve outcomes for children.
  • Use monitoring and evaluation systems to inform our practice and measure impact.
  • Share the learning and work to embed effective practices in all children’s services.

Inform policy development at local and national levels where ABC areas are utilised to test, evaluate and disseminate intervention processes and outcomes.

Blue Skies Initiative ABC Delivery Approaches

ABC sites operate at three levels of change:

  • Frontline delivery of PEI services for children and families which support early child development
  • Capacity building, facilitation, and support to other service providers to implement evidence-based ways of working
  • Systems change efforts with managers and decision makers at local, regional and national level.

Blue Skies Initiative ABC Programme Intervention Themes

  • Pre-birth to three supports including home visiting and group-based supports for parents, care givers and families.
  • Programmes to foster positive parenting and improved child and family social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Supporting quality and capacity in early childhood care and education.
  • Increasing knowledge and skills for early childhood development, including Infant Mental Health across child services.
  • Interventions for language, literacy and numeracy development in preschools, schools and with families.
  • Promoting social, emotional wellbeing and improved behaviour; youth mental health and positive relationships.


Blue Skies Initiative ABC Underpinning Principles

The following principles underpin the work of the ABC Programme:

  • To work collectively across the ABC areas and with national and local interagency and community stakeholders to bring about best practice developments to support better outcomes for children.
  • All children have a right to be heard, to have their needs met and to have equal opportunity to reach their potential.
  • ABC sites recognise the long-term impact of trauma on child development and this informs programme development and implementation.
  • ABC commit to and believe in the principle of working with parents as equal partners with regard to all aspect of their children’s development and learning.
  • ABC sites take a progressive universal approach, targeting areas of most disadvantage and prioritising resources within those areas.
  • ABC sites take a holistic approach to working with children, families, and communities.
  • Local needs analyses and evidence-informed practice guides the planning and delivery of ABC areas.
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation of our work informs planning, development and sustainability.

Blue Skies Initiative Programmes 2021

0-3 Years Programmes

  1. Preparing to Parent Antenatal & Postnatal Programmes
  2. Infant Massage Programme
  3. Archways Upto2 Programme
  4. ParentChild Plus, Home Visiting Programme

Early Years/Schools Programmes

  1. Ready, Steady, School! Transitions Programme
  2. In School Mindfulness Programme
  3. Incredible Years Trainings
  4. Mentor Achievement Programme

Parenting Programmes

  1. Odyssey Parenting Programme
  2. Incredible Years Basic Parent Programme
  3. Circle of Security Parenting Programme
  4. Parent Forums Psychoeducational Workshops
    1. Anxiety Workshops
    2. Positive Behaviour Support Workshops
      1. Series of 8 weeks of workshops supporting parents who have children with additional needs

Community Programmes and Network

  1. Infant Mental Health Network
  2. Restorative Practices
  3. Trauma Informed Programmes and ACES Workshops
  4. Little Humans

Area Specific Programmes

  1. Adamstown Community

For more information please visit the Blue Skies Initiative Website