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There is clear evidence that experiences during the early years of life play a unique role in shaping a child’s brain, with long-term consequences for health and wellbeing and life chances.

That is why we work with experts on projects that start early – even in the womb!

Through these initiatives, our aim is to support parents to build secure attachments and loving bonds with their babies and toddlers, and go onto break tough negative life cycles which may get in the way of what is the most important relationship – the parent infant relationship.

Image of a child's hands with building blocks

Reading to bump

This award-winning Merseyside-wide project encourages expectant parents to read to their child while in the womb to help them bond with their babies and establish a life-long love of literature. Research shows that this helps to familiarise the baby to their parents’ voice, establishes a routine, stimulates brain activity and makes for better communication later in life.

Reading to Bump training is delivered by Liverpool Learning Partnership and takes place in all of Merseyside’s five boroughs.

Its success has been measured independently – read all about it here.

Look, Say, Sing, Play

Music can help make a strong bond between parents and children.

Run in partnership with the NSPCC, this programme encourages parents to build-up their child’s brain by talking, singing and playing with them as part of their everyday routine, helping to create stronger bonds and attachment, all of which sets up positive behaviour as their child grows.

Learn more about Look, Say, Sing, Play here.

Monkey Bob

Meet Monkey Bob – the colourful character at the heart of the Do You Feel What I Feel toolkit focused on helping children to engage with their feelings and talk about any trauma they have experienced.

Monkey Bob

Aimed at professionals working with child victims of trauma, Monkey Bob aims to reduce the impact of serious violence on children from birth up to aged five.

Bob has been meeting parents and children at nurseries and community centres in Merseyside – thanks to the MVRP.

Aside from the cuddly simian himself, there is a toolkit full of ideas to get your child to tell you how they feel.

Read more about Monkey Bob

Sefton place-based project

Reports show that babies born during the Covid lockdown could have missed out on many opportunities. Through this project, we are delivering a placed-based project which concentrates available resources to deliver a menu of support to those in most need.

This project brings together a range of partners, including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, education, community and youth services, probation and community services. It focuses on Early Years help, but also supports the wider family.

Building Attachment and Bonds

This specialist training is designed to give multi-agency professionals working on the frontline supporting vulnerable / at risk parents and infants in the community with greater insight, understanding and knowledge in Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH).

It focuses on enabling professionals, staff and third sector organisations to build their capacity, knowledge and resources to support vulnerable families to ‘build good bonds and break negative cycles.

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What parents say about Building Attachment and Bonds – a video from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a police-led, early information safeguarding partnership enabling schools and early years settings to offer immediate support to children experiencing domestic abuse.

By directly connecting police and schools and early years settings, Operation Encompass aims to secure better outcomes for children, while enabling professionals to better understand the impact living with domestic abuse has upon children and be able to support and nurture each child, giving them a better tomorrow.

In every school for every child - Operation Encompass. Woman hugging a child