Five to Thrive

Central to the five to thrive approach is the set of five key activities:

Respond · Cuddle · Relax · Play · Talk

Five to Thrive (horizontal)

Recent research proves that how a parent behaves around their baby in the first three years of life has a direct impact on how their baby’s brain develops. This is the foundation of how the brain will work as the child grows up and becomes an adult, so if a baby’s brain develops healthily they are more likely to be happy and successful as older children and adults.

These are our ‘building blocks for a healthy brain’. They are drawn from research into the key processes of attachment and attunement that forge bonds between young children and their carers. Crucially, they are designed to support positive feedback processes, enabling practitioners to observe and reinforce positive interaction between parents and their children.

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Take 5 cafes

Following the Five to Thrive training in Luton, a group of Children’s Centre staff met to discuss how they could put the Five to Thrive approach into practice. As a result of these discussions Take 5 cafes were developed and have now been launched.

The Take 5 cafés are informal small group sessions where expectant parents and parents / carers with children under 6 months are welcomed. Each session is part of a rolling programme based on the five building blocks of the Five to Thrive philosophy. The session enables staff to provide practical advice and support and ideas for activities that parents can undertake to help support healthy personal, social and emotional development in their babies. The sessions run 5 days a week and are an excellent resource for parents to attend and professionals to signpost families to.

At the cafes parents are able to get advice and support on all aspects of parenting such as routines, breastfeeding and infant feeding, crying and sleep concerns and weaning. Furthermore staff are able to signpost them to other children’s centre activities such as baby massage, benefit and housing  advice, baby groups and should extra support be required this can be identified at an early stage.

Take 5 cafes run across Luton five days a week. For more information contact a children’s centre or Sarah Lawlor on 01582 616604 or Contact details for Luton Children’s Centres can be found here

Below you can find Five to Thrive Posters to display in settings to encourage the key activities and also information sheets for parents at different stages of early parenthood.

For more information or assistance, call Flying Start on 01582 548336 or email