Early years image

Our work in early years

The last decade has seen significant change in the role and focus of early years provision across the UK, with both universal and targeted services being recognised as essential access points for early intervention. The early years workforce needs to be able to provide early education and early help for families alongside the more traditional tasks in caring for young children.

The challenge of providing such vital services with limited budgets and cuts in public spending has been considerable. Our Five to Thrive suite of training, resources and publications has proved of great value in helping local authorities to meet this challenge. It is an approach which brings disparate strands of service provision together to speak with one voice to parents, enhancing whatever soundly based programmes may already be in use, and has been independently evaluated as providing effective workforce development, significant improvements in the responsiveness and confidence of parents, and value for money.

family work and outreach

As the role of early years practitioners and managers expands, they need to understand the impact on children of significant attachment relationships, the impact on families of living with toxic levels of stress, and the impact of secondary stress on workers at all levels. They also need to develop skills in all these areas of work, and KCA Connected learning provides many opportunities to embed new learning in practice. Key knowledge areas include:

childcare and nurseries

Understanding the neuroscience of human development can transform childcare practice. Those who look after babies and young children need to be able to understand the importance of primary and secondary attachment relationships to child development, and to build skills in working effectively with young children to nurture their growing brains and to support positive parenting. Key knowledge areas include:

multi-agency collaboration

As early years services become a hub for work with families, teamwork across agencies and across disciplines becomes essential. Early years workers need to be able to understand issues in multi-disciplinary working, and to develop skills in making a positive and confident contribution to building the team around the family. Key knowledge areas include: