Barnardo's training boost for working with babies

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Children’s charity Barnardo’s is launching a new ‘Five to thrive’ training programme for its early years staff to help them support the development and life chances of babies under one.

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Barnardo's is running a new training programme for its early years staff

Staff at 300 of the charity’s early years services will receive the day’s training, delivered through face-to-face sessions run by Kate Cairns Associates in partnership with Barnardo’s Training and Consultancy.

Course content will focus on five key building blocks for healthy personal, social and emotional development in children under the age of one: respond, cuddle, relax, play and talk.

Staff will also be able to access an e-learning course, allowing them to revisit the topics covered on the training day, as well as a range of supplementary resources including colour guides and posters, and e-resources such as case studies, practice tools and a video.

The course is designed to improve Barnardo’s staff’s understanding of key factors in healthy early brain development, and to provide a common culture and language for the organisation. Staff will also be encouraged to share this knowledge with parents and families.

The training will be supported by John Lewis as part of the company’s Bringing Skills to Life primary schools programme.

Barnardo’s assistant director of strategy, Jonathan Rallings, said, ‘At Barnardo’s we know for some parents the first years of their child’s life can be a bewildering time. Some of the parents Barnardo’s works with don’t have the most stable start in life themselves and may not have had the experience of being read to or played with by their own parents.

‘The “five to thrive” approach will be complementary to Barnardo’s existing early years work. It will provide our family support staff with new ways of emphasising to parents the importance of their interactions with their baby and the difference they can make to their child’s life.’