This important new report uses a literature review to identify clearly the fundamental role of the parent not only as the first teacher but as the first caregiver and provider of love and security. This bond is known as attachment.
It is the quality of this attachment that supports the child’s social and emotional development which in turn relates to both their cognitive development and ultimately their life chances.
There is increasing recognition of the importance of fostering resilience or character “grit”, this report traces the roots of these characteristics to secure attachment in early childhood.
However, the report identifies that as many as 40 per cent of children lack secure bonds, and there is particular concern for the 15 per cent who actively resist their parent.
Recent improvements in parental leave are welcome, however, as the report recommends, more support for good parenting and attachment by health visitors and children’s centres would be needed, with evidence-based interventions for those identified as higher risk.