Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days

Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1000 days


The first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and a child’s second birthday – is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established.

The Bringing Up Great Kids in the first 1000 days program has been designed to nurture parents as they embark on their journey supporting their children and developed with the support of the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

The program enables parents/carers to understand brain development in the early years of life. The one-day training includes:

  • Facilitator’s manual
  • Session outlines
  • Interactive reflection activities
  • Participant sheets

This training will provide the participant with the skills to use this program with parents/carers with children in the first 1000 days of their life and beyond. The Australian Childhood Foundation is pleased to present a national calendar of one-day workshops and webinar series to support the implementation of the ‘Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days’ nationally. The training is offered at
no cost and has been made possible with the support of the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Click here to find out more: Workshop and Seminar Information.

About the Program


Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days emphasises the importance of living in a nurturing and safe environment. It provides parents with knowledge about brain development and an understanding of how children grow and what they need, the centrality of family relationships and an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own childhood and how to connect to their children. It seeks to build parent confidence and promotes help seeking behaviour.

The program has been developed into an easy to use facilitator’s package for use by professionals working with parents or supporting any other adults involved in parenting children in the first 1000 days of life. The program recognises that a variety of adults can be involved in parenting children.

The program is written as five chapters that can be flexibly delivered over ten hours in a format that best meets the needs of the parents. Each chapter has been divided into four sections:

  1. Set up – contains all the information the facilitator needs to prepare for the session
  2. Introductory and Connecting activities
  3. Pre and Post Birth activities
  4. Mindful/Reflective activities and self-care

Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days materials and resources will support parents to:

  • Develop an understanding of the importance of the first thousand days and the needs of babies and young children during this period;
  • Learn more about brain development both during pregnancy and after in the context of the growth and development of children;
  • Understand the origins of parenting styles and recognising the importance of a positive start in the first thousand days;
  • Identify the importance of giving positive nurturing messages to babies and young children and how to achieve this;
  • Discover how to overcome some of the obstacles getting in the way of being the kind of parents they would like to be; and,
  • Explore ways for parents to take care of themselves and to find support when they need it.

The program focusses on building positive relationships and interactions between parents and their unborn babies as well as parents and their infants and young children. It works from a child-centred perspective and aims to resource parents to:

  • Identify and evaluate the source of their parenting approach and philosophy;
  • Understand their child’s developing needs in early life and how to meet these;
  • Develop an increased understanding of their values, beliefs and attitudes and the ‘messages’ that they communicate to their child;
  • Increase their ability to understand and acknowledge the impact of these messages on their child;
  • Develop skills in identifying and managing their stress associated with parenting and develop wellbeing and self-care practices; and,
  • To seek further professional assistance about their parenting if required.

The Bringing Up Great Kids Program is an identified Evidence-Based Program for Communities for Children Facilitating Partners. It has been evaluated and found to be an effective program in supporting the development of mindful and positive relationships between parents/carers and children.

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