Early child and family support conference in Portugal by ISEI and Eurlyaid. 4

Supporting an early support workforce with training


Conference: ADVANCING COMPREHENSIVE EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION - what parents, professionals, science, and national systems can tell us


Editorial Comment:

Coming 25 years into the century, this conference has the potential to be an international early support summit. Such a summit, embracing the northern hemisphere and the ‘global south’, could help set the agenda for the next 25 years and learn lessons from the very slow progress since early child and family support began 50 years ago. It would be a truly global summit if ISEI and Eurlyaid invited an organisation from the low-economy global south to be a third partner in planning the event.

To support the third phase of the evolution of early child and family support, the conference/summit could address the training needs of the early support workforce and this is the fourth of my wishes for this landmark event. The design of a training programme for the mix of workers involved will take better brains than mine, but here are my thoughts:

  • The training must prepare workers of all disciplines for the initial sessions with a child and family. This is where essential effective relationships are begun and from which mutual trust and respect can grow. Included in this is a willingness in each worker to set their particular discipline aside for a time so they can show their basic humanity.
  • The training must teach early support workers how to consider the needs of both the child and the family and how to switch focus from child to parents and back again during each session.
  • It is likely each worker is already trained to work with children so the training must offer a grounding in the needs of parents, siblings and grandparents and in first approaches to supporting them. Such approaches will require familiarity with relevant local resources.
  • Early support training will have to be modular because workers will differ in their needs given that they are already trained to some level in their own discipline.
  • One common need will be preparation for joint working in which workers integrate and collaborate to create a whole approach to each child and family.

Each region will need its own version of early child and family support training to take account of culture, available resources, common needs and availability of workers.

[Here is one organisation already offering training in their region: https://ranapecezlin.cz/en/for-professionals/  They are happy to talk about their work. Contact Michaela Dokulilová <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Portugal 25 conference/summit would provide a perfect forum for discussing early child and family support training

Peter Limbrick, December 2023

(I am interested in the conference and in its potential to improve early child and family support around the world but I am not involved in it. I wonder what other people would like to see in the programme.)

My first three wishes:
Early child and family support conference in Portugal by ISEI and Eurlyaid. 3
Early child and family support conference in Portugal by ISEI and Eurlyaid. 2
Early child and family support conference in Portugal (September 2025) by ISEI and Eurlyaid. An opportunity for an evolutionary leap forward. 1

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