“Relationships are what matter most to infants and young children” – an interview with Dr Penelope Leach

Luff, P. (2023) “Relationships are what matter most to infants and young children” – an interview with Dr Penelope Leach. Norland Educare Research Journal, 1 (1): 3. pp. 1-6. ISSN 2976-7199


Penelope Leach, PhD, CBE, child psychologist, is a very well-known name, especially for the generation of parents who raised their children in the 1980s and 1990s with reference to her books: Babyhood (Leach, 1974), an account of child development accessible to the non-specialist, and Your Baby and Child (Leach, 1977; 1988; 1997), a book of common-sense childcare advice based on insights from child development, now in a new edition (Leach, 2022). Dr Penelope Leach has long been an important advocate for the wellbeing of young children, upholding children’s rights in many different roles and campaigns, including as Chair of the Child Development Society, 1994–95; Vice-President of the Health Visitors’ Association, 1988–99; and a founding member of the Association for Infant Mental Health UK, from 1998. Her views on physical punishment led to the founding of EPOCH (End Physical Punishment of Children) (1988–2004), now Children Are Unbeatable!, and she worked as a trustee to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children from 1996 to 1999. Dr Leach’s work is of particular interest for home-based educare because she was President of the National Childminding Association (NCMA) from 1999 to 2009, when she worked to raise the public profile of childminding as a high-quality childcare option and to increase the professionalism of childminders through improved access to training.

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Interview with Dr Penelope Leach
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