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AiMH UK LUNCHTIME SKILLS BOX – ‘Professional love in early years practice’

Jools will be talking about the importance of Professional Love: careful, reciprocal, respectful and genuine relationships between infants/toddlers and key adults in Early Years settings. Through Professional Love, the child receives meaningful experiences of attachment, which can reinforce secure attachments and act as a model for the development of healthy relationships in the child’s present and future lifespan. This attachment relationship between an Early Years worker and child can also be a driver of more effective professional practice.

Jools will talk about her new model, the triangle of Professional Love, which will have just been piloted with a group of practitioners. In this Skills-Box session, she will speak more broadly about her ideas and share suggestions for how they can be taken forward into practice.


Dr Jools Page is a Senior Early Years Lecturer and the Doctoral Studies School Lead in the School of Education at the University of Brighton. She teaches on a range of Early Years programmes and leads the Voice and Participation in Childhood and Education Research and Enterprise Group. Before taking up her academic role, Jools was employed in both policy and practice roles. For over three decades she worked closely with young children and their families and it is from these humble beginnings that she first gained a unique insight into the importance of fostering careful, respectful, reciprocal and genuine relationships between infants, toddlers and their key adults in professional early years contexts. Jools is committed to research and practice that places the rights of infants, toddlers and young children at the centre; it is this view of children which inspired her academic research into the complex notion of attachment, intimacy, care and love in the earliest years of life. Her research on attachment-based relationships between adults and children under three years in group day care provision has brought her national and international recognition. Most notably it is her characterisation of ‘Professional Love’ which has captured the interest of contemporary scholars and practitioners alike and which led to her being awarded: The Association of Infant Mental Health UK Louise Emmanuel Award 2021: ‘To recognise those who have demonstrated a significant contribution to Infant Mental Health in terms of practice or through their work in research and policy’

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