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Health visitors in Wales are to receive advanced training to help ensure parents bond with their new-born child, Children’s Minister Huw Irranca-Davies has announced today.

First published:
1 June 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

To mark International Children’s Day, the Minister has announced the Welsh Government is providing £100,000 in 2018-19 to support the provision of training to health visitors and other professionals working with children and families in both Flying Start and non-Flying Start health visiting services.

There is a growing body of evidence on the impact of insecure or incomplete bonding and attachment on a child’s developmental progress. Insecure bonding and attachment will undermine the child’s development and, therefore, their ability to learn, forge positive relationships with others and achieve their potential.

Secure bonding and attachment supports the child’s cognitive, social and emotional and physical development and their development of healthy self-awareness, trust and empathy, which will underpin that child’s relationships with others, not just their parents, and help them to achieve their potential. 

The training builds on the success of funding provided in 2017-18 to Health Visitors in Flying Start areas and is aligned with the Welsh Government’s work to given children the best start, by focussing on their needs during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.  

Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies said:

“An individual’s experiences in childhood play a significant part in shaping their future, and are critical to their chances of going on to lead a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling life. I’m determined to ensure we do all we can to ensure our children are given the very best start in life.

“The Early Years and tackling Adverse Childhood Experiences are two of my top priorities. Crucial to both is the development of secure bonding and attachment between the child and their parents.  

“Parents sometimes need support in building secure bonding and attachment with their new-born child. This has clear benefits for the child, but it is also beneficial for the parents’ mental health and emotional wellbeing, by making them more in tune, and better able to respond to their baby’s cues, and to become more confident parents.  

“The funding I’m announcing today will also support our positive parenting agenda and in turn assist with preventing adverse childhood experiences, which can be particularly damaging during this critical and sensitive time in a child’s development."