Area Based Childhood Initiative
Blue Skies Initiative

Incredible Years Programmes


Incredible Years Programmes
The Incredible Years® programme promotes skill based learning to respond and to behavioural difficulties in children between three and ten years. The Incredible Years Programme began in the University of Washington in Seattle by Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton. The Incredible Years® series contains three separate programmes; for parents, teachers and children. Each programme has been designed to be able to stand-alone, however applied together, they provide a cohesive and uniform strategy to address and eliminate behavioural difficulties in children. If you are a parent or teacher in the Blue Skies Initiative catchment area, please get in touch to express your interest and we can let you know when our next programmes will be run. Participating in programmes is free of charge to those who live or attend school in our catchment area ((Clondalkin, Balgaddy and Adamstown).

The author of the Incredible Years® programme, Carolyn Webster-Stratton, explains that: the attention rule is the basic principle. Simply stated, it is that children will work for attention from others, especially parents, whether it is positive (praise) or negative (criticism) in nature.  If they do
not receive positive attention, then they will strive for negative attention since that is better than none at all.

The Incredible Years® programme, whether it is the parent, teacher or child element puts this positive approach into practice.  Again in her book, Carolyn lists the Foundations for Successful Parenting as: play, praise, tangible rewards, limit-setting, ignoring, timeout, natural and logical
consequences and teaching children to problem-solve.  All Incredible Years® curricula place strong emphasis on the importance of having this firm foundation laid before introducing any other elements.  With these foundations in place the Incredible Years® approach examines Communicating and Problem Solving and lastly looks at Common Behaviour Problems that can arise from such areas as TV watching, behaviour in public places, child disobedience and so on.

A Key Strength
One of the important strengths of the Incredible Years® programme is its unique ability to promote an Inter-Agency approach to dealing with emotional and behavioural difficulties in children.  The multi-agency approach of participants attending training and delivering the programme brings resources together in a community and focuses those resources collaboratively and positively on children who are experiencing difficulties.

Testimonials from parents who participated in an Incredible Years Parenting Programme run by Blue Skies Initiative:
‘I found the follow up calls extremely helpful and reassuring. The handouts and book are a great addition and asset to have. it’s going to be our Bible practising skills, brought a new burst of fun to our household and helped us re-connect’

‘This course and what I achieved, learned and discovered is something that I never ever will forget. It absolutely enlightened me into issues concerning children’s behaviour that you would normally disregard and never ever think of. It was like opening up another door into a place that your eyes
opened up to things you would never have noticed. So enlightening and so absolutely one of the most important memorable discoveries of my life that I will never forget. And will continue to use and carry on to help (child) grow and develop into the person I know she can and will be.’

IY Classroom Dina Programme

The Dinosaur Social Skills and Problem Solving curriculum is a child training curriculum that strengthens children’s social, emotional and academic competencies such as understanding and communicating feelings, using effective problem solving strategies, managing anger, practicing friendship and conversational skills, as well as appropriate classroom behaviours.

Who is it for?
The programme is used by all early years’ educators and teachers who are working with children between the ages of 3 and 8. It is a curriculum designed to be used in the classroom throughout the school year.

How is it going to work?
Classroom Dina is delivered 2-3 times a week in the classroom; it consists of 20-30 minute circle time lessons, which incorporate the use of small group practice activities to promote key skills. These concepts can be usefully reinforced throughout the day. Educators use DVD’s and puppets as part of the programme.

What are the benefits?
Children learn how to communicate feelings, use effective problem solving strategies, and manage anger, practice friendship and conversational skills, as well as appropriate classroom behaviours.

I’m a childcare worker, how do I get involved? contact our lead agency Archways here

I’m a school teacher, how do I get involved contact our lead agency Archways here

I’m a parent, this programme sounds perfect for my child, where can they access it? Contact our lead agency Archways here

Is there a cost?
The cost for 3 days training course is €650 per person, if your Early Years Service or school is involved in the Blue Skies Initiative the cost of training will be covered. If you are not, but still want to access the training contact Archways

I want to find out more about the evidence.
More information can be found on or

Small Group Dina Training Programme
This intervention is appropriate for use with small groups of children (maximum six participants) experiencing behaviour problems (from pre-school to eight years). This can be used as a pull-out intervention strategy within the school environment, as well as with after-school interventions, and family resource centres. Training is over three-days, with additional Peer-Support over the course of the programme. This is recommended at four to six sessions. Programme Delivery is two hours per week over 20-22 weeks. The Small Group Dina can be delivered within school-time, typically it would be delivered by resource teachers or staff who can take children out of class for a two-hour session. As an after-school programme, the Small Group Dina is an appropriate intervention for professionals in CAMHS, School Completion Programmes and Family Resource Centres and more.