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Supporting parents and parenting skills

The early years agenda recognises that the vast majority of parents want to be good parents and to raise healthy and successful children. In the earliest months, nurturance and sensitivity are key as they lead to secure attachment relationships. Parenting skills to support children's behaviour can be learned in many ways and it is important for early years practitioners to recognise and value inherent skills and nurture parents’ own abilities to develop as parents, with or without formal training or classes. Services must be accessible and user-focused allowing parents to develop skills to best meet their own needs.  A staged intervention approach that provides effective assessment of needs and risks, as well as pathways to more tailored support for those who need it, should be used.