New research centre to help shape services for Children and Families in Wales

Building on research that has shown how programmes for infants, young families and teachers across Wales, support children’s social and emotional development, a new research centre should provide further answers that will continue to help the Welsh Assembly Government shape services for children and families in the future.


The Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) will be launched by Huw Lewis AM, Deputy Minister for Children on Wednesday 9 March at the Incredible Years Wales Annual Conference in Cardiff.


The creation of the Centre is a natural extension of work conducted by Bangor University’s Incredible Years Cymru Centre over the last eight years. Their activities have already had a positive effect on children and families in Wales, by both introducing and measuring the effectiveness of Incredible Years (IY) programmes for infants, young children, their families and teachers.


Many thousands of parents and children across Wales have benefited from these programmes, which are offered by schools, local authorities’ children’s centres, early intervention and health services. The Dinosaur school classroom and therapeutic programmes help young children to learn the social, emotional regulation and problem solving skills that enable them to form strong relationships and get the greatest benefit from their schooling. The parent and teacher programmes provide useful strategies for good parenting and effective classroom management, The IY Cymru Centre has received funding from the Welsh Assembly Government for the past five years to disseminate the programmes across Wales. As a result, they are offered in all 22 Authorities in Wales and accessed by thousands of children and families. In Gwynedd alone every child starting school has an IY trained teacher and experiences the classroom Dinosaur School curriculum.


Huw Lewis AM, Deputy Minister for Children said:
“The research undertaken at Bangor University has contributed significantly to the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to support Incredible Years programmes. It is encouraging to see the impact that IY programmes are having on children and young people in Wales, and I hope the new Centre will continue that good work in the future.”


Bangor University Vice Chancellor Professor John G. Hughes said:

“The establishment of this new research Centre marks the beginning of a new phase of research. Our staff will work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government in disseminating and researching IY programmes. The team will also use their experience to evaluate other aspects of services across Wales to establish evidence of what works for our children and families.”


Professor Judy Hutchings, Director of the new Centre said:
“We want to provide the same level of research into the cost and effectiveness of a wider range of services to children and families in Wales as we do for the IY programmes. This should lead to individuals and families receiving a broader range of effective, appropriate support. There is a consequent saving to society as a whole of providing this support to young families and children.”


“This will build on our work that was identified as good practice in the recently published independent review of early intervention undertaken by Graham Allen MP for the Westminster Government,” Prof Hutchings added.


The new Centre builds on 20 years of research conducted by Prof Hutchings both at the local NHS Trust and the University.

Publication date: 9 March 2011