Learning the value of interaction.A suite of programmes to support better parenting is now available nationwide to people in prison and the community. And you don’t have to be a parent to take part.

Contract manager Pippa Simm says the programmes offered by Brainwave Trust and Storytime Foundation are not just for parents. “They’re suitable for anyone with a child in their lives – including aunties, grandparents, caregivers and even people who plan to have children in future.”

Both providers have previously worked in just a few prison sites but thanks to a nationwide contract their programmes are available all over the country. Since July 2020, 682 people have completed one of the programmes in prisons; another 144 have taken part in the community programmes.

Brainwave Trust teaches participants the critical importance of the first thousand days of life. Using evidence-based research, they make information understandable and accessible to everyone who can influence the lives of babies and children.

Storytime Foundation’s focus is on strengthening vulnerable young children and their families by enhancing the bond between parent and child early in life.

Three programmes are now offered nationally in prisons and community sites. The programmes have been running nationally since July 2020 and have generated some great feedback from the engaged participants:

“I have learned that our baby’s brain develops the first three years he is alive. The most important thing for our baby is to spend quality time  in a safe environment and surround them with positive influences and people.” says Adam*.

“I have done this programme before and I loved it, so did my son when he received the games. He spent all of Christmas day playing with his games and reading his books. Thank you,” says Susan*.

The programmes

Growing Great Brains

Increases participants’ knowledge about human brain development. This programme focuses on pregnancy, the first 1,000 days (or early years), adolescent brain development and how parents can support a child’s development through adolescent years. It also seeks to provide practical parenting skills and strategies.

Tiakina te Tamaiti

Highlights the importance of loving experiences in the early years, gently weaving matauranga Māori, te reo me ona tikanga into its delivery of the current understanding of brain development. The science is intermingled with Māori narratives, values and beliefs, brought to life thorough whakatauki, imagery, and stories, alongside studies from multiple areas of research. Tiakina te Tamaiti was developed to be for an audience that is mostly whānau Māori, although the programme can be accessed by anyone.

Taonga mō ngā Tamariki

Enhances support which parents and whānau provide for their children’s language and literacy development. This programme is specially designed to support children and parents from diverse cultural, socio-economic and language backgrounds. The programme also includes books and resources to support oral language, child literacy and numeracy, and support attachment between whānau and their children.

For referral to any of the programmes people must see their role as a parent/caregiver as a priority in their lives. This includes parents who have limited or no contact with their children and are motivated (and legally able to) to re-establish contact (excludes anyone with offences against children).

*name changed