Key messages from neuroscience for early intervention and positive parenting

We all know that there is nothing more important in the lives of young children than their parents. Recent research proves that how a parent behaves around their baby in the first three years of life has a direct impact on how their baby's brain develops. This is the foundation of how the brain will work as the child grows up and becomes an adult, so if a baby's brain develops healthily they are more likely to be happy and successful as older children and adults.

This discovery has great implications for social policy, and recent government initiatives have placed an emphasis on supporting families to ensure healthy development through the early years. The SureStart programme and the Allen report, Scotland's Parenting Strategy and Early Years Collaborative, and the new opening up of free childcare for vulnerable two-year-olds all mean that considerable energy and resource are focused on positive and preventative work with children from pre-birth to pre-school.

The five to thrive approach helps local authorities, health trusts, schools and children's centres to deliver a consistent, effective message in working with parents, carers and young children themselves. For more information or to discuss how the approach could be useful in your work, call KCA on 01453 488400 or email

Five to Thrive blocks - Respond, Cuddle, Relax, Play, Talk