Early Years settings

Early Years refers to settings serving children up to the end of reception class, including Children’s Centres.

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Supporting early years children with their social and emotional welling being can help to prevent consequences later in life. Well supported early years children can lead to positive outcomes later in life for both children and their families.

The early years plays a crucial role in determining mental health through childhood and beyond. A mentally healthy child is one with a clear sense of identity and self-worth, the ability to recognise and manage emotions, to learn, play, enjoy friendships and relationships, and deal with difficulties. A wide range of interrelated factors play a role, such as individual, family, wider society and environmental issues.

A child’s wellbeing is the result of healthy development within a nurturing environment. In the early years, infants make emotional attachments and form relationships that lay the foundation for future mental health. Attachment relationships are particularly important and have far-reaching effects on developing emotional, social and cognitive skills.

In Wiltshire we are promoting a flexible, attachment-based approach to positive parenting called “Five to Thrive” that focuses on a set of five key principles – talk, play, relax, cuddle and respond. The principles are easy to convey and ensure a consistent multi-agency approach which we know families appreciate.

The Wiltshire Council The Best Start in Life toolkit provides clear, simple key messages to promote positive health and wellbeing in its widest sense to support children in Wiltshire to have the Best Start in Life. The information is relevant from conception through to 5 years.