The idea that parenting matters for early child development is now firmly recognised by policymakers. It is well established that parents’ investments influence young children’s development, and their chances in life. Parenting is one of the most important drivers of social inequalities in cognitive development before school. We also know that good parenting and early development can play a protective role for children growing up in otherwise disadvantaged settings. But what is good parenting, and how can we promote it from the very start? This report includes a review of literature on attachment theory and considers its implications for public policy, particularly for disadvantaged children.
This report is written by Elizabeth Washbrook, Jane Waldfogel and Sophie Moullin.
- Children’s Centres should do more to improve parenting, especially for the under-threes.
- Health visitors and other health services should play a stronger role in supporting attachment and parenting.
- Local authorities and health services should enhance home visiting and parenting programmes for higher risk families, through the government’s early intervention and troubled families agendas.