EarlyYES training

Attachment training
for professionals working with
infants, children, young people
and their parents/carers

Who am I?

is a question we all ask implicitly.
But what if you’ve always been
treated like you’re ‘nobody’?

EarlyYES training

A baby learns about herself
through the emotions expressed
in her parent’s face

EarlyYES training

Positive eye contact and smiles
are a vital stimulus to the growth of
the social, emotionally intelligent brain

EarlyYES training

Just being with an infant or child
and feeling their distress
can be reassuring, without words

EarlyYES training

Listening and being receptive
to children’s feelings
is vital to their development

EarlyYES training

Young carers may look after
their parents’ emotional needs,
while their own needs
are not being met

EarlyYES training in children’s mental health, and working with parents/carers

Promoting secure attachment and emotional wellbeing in infants, children, and young people

Integrating neuroscience and attachment theory within your professional practice

All EarlyYES training can be delivered online

I would recommend highly this training for all front-line practitioners working with children and families to enable them to develop a robust framework of knowledge and understanding and confident practice.

Louise Campion

Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing, Children, Families & Community Health Service, Swindon (retired).

Why do the EarlyYES training?

EarlyYES training increases your knowledge and understanding of the social and emotional development of infants, children and young people.

Early attachment relationships, and the extraordinary development of the brain – with its vulnerability to trauma and neglect – are key to our relationships with others throughout life, and our ongoing emotional wellbeing.

EarlyYES training gives you confidence in giving voice to the child and the impact of their experiences.

The courses also help you to support parents and carers who often have their own difficult life histories which, in turn, impact on their capacity to care for their children.

This understanding, and the skills developed further during the course, help you to achieve:

  • more thorough assessment of emotional needs
  • reduced risk and better safeguarding
  • more effective therapeutic intervention
  • more effective communication with the professional network.
Learning outcomes
  • Understanding of theoretical concepts in children’s emotional and social development, and parent-child relationships, including: psychobiological brain development, attachment security/ insecurity and intergenerational transmission, parental attunement, sensitivity and mind-mindedness, emotional regulation and resilience.
  • Application of theoretical concepts to work with infants, children, young people and their parents, including understanding the child’s communication through behaviour and play.
  • Essential skills in detailed observation and recording of children’s behaviour and parent-child interaction.
  • More thorough assessment of emotional needs of parent and child.
  • Essential skills in building robust therapeutic relationships with parents and carers to enable them to support their child’s emotional development and secure attachment.
  • Reduced risk and better safeguarding, and more effective communication with the professional network
Based on research
The human brain has over 100 billion neurons, each connecting to around 10,000 other neurons.  But these connections are affected by our social and emotional experience from infancy.  So how can we help to nurture healthy brains?

The EarlyYES training courses incorporate current research in the field of child development, including: neuroscience, attachment, emotional regulation, parental attunement and mentalisation / reflective capacity.

The courses build on concepts and skills embedded within psychodynamic therapeutic work, mentalization-based therapy and interventions such as the Solihull Approach (Douglas, H. & Ginty, M. 2001), Watch, Wait and Wonder (Muir, E. 1992), Mind-mindedness (Meins, E. 2012) and Words and Pictures (Hiles, M., Essex, S., Fox, A. and Luger, C. (2008).

In integrating theory, research and practice, we refer practitioners to the excellent book by Graham Music: ‘Nurturing Natures’ (2017). Reviewed and available from Amazon.

Integrating theory & daily practice
EarlyYES training emphasises the importance of detailed observation, reflection and analysis, thereby integrating theory and practice.

Practitioners practice these skills in the safe and rich environment of group Reflective Practice, where each practitioner presents a detailed written (anonymous) case study.

Why Reflective Practice?

Thinking about our work is essential to good practice. Reflective practice encourages detailed observation, reflection and analysis, thereby integrating theory and practice.

Given a safe space to reflect on our contact with families, our interactions and our own responses, we can increase our understanding of relationships, and become more effective in our work.

Reflective practice supports us in responding therapeutically in the best interests of the child, young person and family, reducing the danger of the practitioner acting/reacting with consequent risk to families.

The small groups are facilitated by the EarlyYES Trainers, bringing years of expertise and skill to thinking ‘on the fly’ with each case, to help practitioners to find new ways of working therapeutically with children and families.

For more details, see the Course Programme.

“The reflective practice was a brilliant platform for different views and ideas from other professionals.”
Health Visitor

“I found the Reflective Practice sessions with the trainers really useful as it really allowed me to think about what I’ve learnt, and apply it to live cases.”
Senior Family Worker

“The Reflective Practice was so very beneficial to me in the application of theory to practice.”
Primary CAMHS Therapist

Who are the courses for?
EarlyYES courses are for professionals employed within Health, Education and Social Care, and the independent and voluntary sectors.

The course Babies In Our Minds is designed for:

  • Practitioners working with infants and families, e.g. Perinatal staff, Midwives, Health Visitors, and Early Years workers.

The course Who Am I? is designed for:

  • Practitioners working with children, young people and families, e.g. CAMHS clinicians, Social Workers, Youth Workers, Parent Support Workers, Teachers, Counsellors and Therapists.
CPD for Health Visitors

The EarlyYES training courses contribute to essential Health Visitor CPD, in accordance with the National Framework for Continuing Professional Development for Health Visitors – Standards for professional practice (iHV, 2015), Standard 1 “Working therapeutically to effect change with children and families”.

Standard 1 specifies that Health Visitors need to be:

“confident and effective in engaging and building positive relationships…  This requires excellent interpersonal skills and personal qualities (e.g. emotional literacy and emotional resilience) in order to establish and maintain effective working relationships with parents and carers.”

The EarlyYES training courses provide the key knowledge and skills outcomes identified in the National Standards; in particular increased confidence and effectiveness in building positive relationships.

Practitioners need to have:

  • experience of working with infants/children/young people in a professional capacity,
  • a minimum of NVQ Level 3 qualifications.

The EarlyYES training courses are equally suitable for practitioners at a university graduate level.

The trainers are skilled at adapting the course to the appropriate level (varying theoretical content, depth of discussion, and therapeutic techniques) to ensure that all practitioners benefit.

Practical details & timing

EarlyYES training can be delivered online.  In the current climate, online training is increasingly being used.

The EarlyYES training courses are offered in Bristol, the South West, Midlands and S. Wales.

The Babies In Our Minds training course can be delivered as a 2-day or 3-day course (see Programme).  Days and dates can be arranged to suit your needs.

The Who am I? training course is delivered over 4 to 5 weeks.

There is a recommended maximum of 14 attendees per course (Babies In Our Minds, and Who Am I?), to allow time for detailed discussion of practitioners’ work in reflective practice small groups.  However, greater numbers can be accommodated, with the understanding that not all participants will be able to present their work.

The Who Am I? course consists of 5 full days’ training, although it can be adapted to 3-4 days if required.  A 5-day course is usually delivered as follows:

  • Day 1: Friday
  • Day 2: Thursday (2 weeks later)
  • Day 3: Friday
  • Day 4: Thursday (2 weeks later)
  • Day 5: Friday

The 2-week gaps before days 2 and 4 allow time for practitioners to prepare case studies for Reflective Practice.

The intensity of the course experience has proven to enhance learning, through sustained emotional engagement with the course content.

All practitioners who attend a course in full are issued with a certificate of attendance.

Rachel Pardoe developed the EarlyYES training courses over many years, and is founder and Director of EarlyYES Ltd.

Rachel Pardoe delivers the training in person with highly experienced Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist co-trainers who have worked in CAMHS and other therapeutic settings for many years. For more information, see About.

Training delivered & recommendation
Since 2011, Rachel Pardoe and Caroline Church have delivered the Who Am I? training course (and an initial version of the course in the NHS) to over 300 practitioners in Bristol, Wales and Swindon, the latter to multi-disciplinary groups of practitioners (see Course Programme for more details, and below for earlier NHS work).

Participants are asked for detailed feedback to help us ensure the continued quality and relevance of the course to varied professional contexts.

Feedback from practitioners is highly positive, as shown by comments on this website, and in the Course Programme. Practitioners give top ratings on many aspects of the course. Evaluation Reports of previous training courses are available on request.

Highly positive comments indicate the impact of the Who Am I? training course on practitioners’ thinking about their work, and the development of their professional practice, for the benefit of the many children, young people and families receiving professional intervention and care.

Recommendation by Louise Campion (2018)
Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing
Children, Families and Community Health Service, Swindon.

“We have been working with Rachel Pardoe of the “Who am I?” training programme since 2013, running a multi-disciplinary course each year for staff from a range of roles for example, health visitors, social workers, family support workers.

“The feedback and evidence from our quality assurance activities is that there is a positive impact on their practice and in the way they can communicate with each other about young children.  My experience has always been positive in being able to develop the course to match our local needs through sensitive and helpful work with Rachel.

“I would recommend highly this course for all front line practitioners working with children and families to enable them to develop a robust framework of knowledge and understanding and confident practice.”

Feedback from 23 practitioners
click the ‘+‘ icons in the Feedback sections below.

Earlier training: Rachel Pardoe has been delivering training in Bristol in children’s mental health since 2005.  A similar 5-day course was delivered within the NHS by Rachel Pardoe and Caroline Church in Bristol and Swindon (2011-2016); the course was attended by over 180 practitioners.

Feedback was consistently excellent, with 90% plus Excellent ratings in Bristol for Course Content, Theoretical Workshops and Relevance to Your Work.

EarlyYES attachment training for professionals working with infants, children, young people and families.
EarlyYES 5-day Training Programme
Health Visitor feedback on the EarlyYES attachment training, illustrated by parents with a new baby
A fantastic course, opened my eyes to new approaches to my role as a Health Visitor.
Health Visitor

CAMHS professionals' feedback on the EarlyYES attachment training, illustrated by a father comforting his son
Having presenters with their own live experiences brings the information to life.
Clinical Psychologist

Family Workers, Social Workers & Youth Workers' feedback on the EarlyYES attachment training, illustrated by a girl in a park
This has been an amazing journey. A course that was well worth doing and will change people’s attitudes and practice, especially mine.
Co-ordinator, Family Project

Contact Rachel Pardoe about Commissioning a Training Course

11 + 15 =


The EarlyYES Who Am I? and Babies In Our Minds training courses are offered in Bristol, the South West, Midlands and S. Wales.

Arranging dates

Dates and venue are arranged with local commissioners, and local administrative staff coordinate recruitment of practitioners.

All practitioners who attend a course in full will be issued with a certificate of attendance.

Course Fees & Finances

£6,300 for the full 5-day EarlyYES Who am I? training course. (£450 per practitioner if 14 attend.)

£4,760 for the 3-day Babies In Our Minds training course (£340 per practitioner if 14 attend).

Shorter courses can be provided. Please contact Rachel Pardoe for details.

Training is delivered locally to you.

Additional costs include venue hire, plus travel expenses for the trainers. (For courses outside Bristol, we will need two overnight hotel stays.  If the venue is more than 90 mins drive from Bristol, we will need further nights’ accommodation.)

Participants will be advised to buy one or two books (or for these to be purchased by management).

Participants will also need to photocopy at their workplace the anonymised case presentation for Reflective Practice.

Check list to help

  1. Secure funding for the training course (we will supply full costings)
  2. Agree with Rachel a suitable training venue with IT facilities.
  3. Identify an administrative staff member who can liaise, and inform Rachel Pardoe of who to invoice.
  4. Advertise the course by email using EarlyYES marketing information (we will supply this).
  5. Keep a record of applications (we will supply forms): ensure you have committed applicants who can attend the full course.
  6. Provide Rachel with names of practitioners, contact details, roles and organisations worked for.
  7. Continue liaison with Rachel, to send out information for practitioners and update as needed.

Thank you.