The Early Years

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Parent-child interactions in the early years matter.  Parents and care givers lay the foundations for children’s life skills including the ability to build productive relationships, emotional regulation, communication, problem solving as well as strengthening their self esteem.

Developing a warm and loving bond with a sensitive and predictable parent or caregiver creates the context in which children develop positive expectations about themselves and others. While it is never too late for children to benefit from an enriched learning environment, a key opportunity is lost if their development is not fully supported when they are very young.

Some parents, however, struggle to provide their child with a sufficiently nurturing environment and so need high quality support that is matched to their needs.

From the point of conception through to the first day at school parents, babies and young children have regular contact with a range of different services including midwifery, health visiting, GPs, children centres, childcare and early education provision.

A focus on early intervention in these formative early years is crucial for ensuring that parents at risk of struggling with their young children are supported sufficiently and that all babies and children are given the best possible start in life.

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EIF has completed the second stage of our work on evaluating programmes aimed at parents and children from conception to age 5. This review was published on July 11 2016.

Foundations for Life: What Works to Support Parent Child Interaction in the Early Years

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Blog: Foundations for Life  

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