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New report by the EIF on what works to enhance the quality of parent-child interactions from conception to age 5

Early years are crucial years – the parent or primary caregiver is the most important part of a child’s environment and they are best placed to support the optimal development of their child during this period.

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has launched a report called ‘The Best Start At Home’ reviewing 32 early intervention programmes in the UK for conception to 5-year-olds and their families. It describes the strong evidence that the quality of parent-child interactions is crucial for child development and provides a detailed review of the types of interventions available. It sets out the evidence in support of them.

This sort of intervention is important for children and communities. New analysis of 2014 Early Year Foundation Stage Profile (EYFS) figures found a fifth of children currently lack personal, social and emotional development by the age of four - some 40,000 girls and 82,000 boys.

One in four children - particularly those from poor backgrounds and deprived communities - starts primary school in England without the necessary language and communication skills.

You can read the report and overview here.