Babies’ emotion and communication:
The role of healthy touch
Touch is perhaps the most common way we connect and communicate with babies and little children – it underpins almost all of our interactions in early childhood care and education settings. Yet, understanding, developing and using healthy, respectful touch is one of the things that is rarely mentioned in our training.
In this workshop we explore the role of touch in early brain, social and body development and how we can work positively to support young children’s boundaries, safe, respectful and positive messages about touch.
Presenter: Alice Campbell
Alice Campbell is an early childhood development specialist, with a 25-year background blending health care and early childhood education.
Alice wrote the first Australian Nationally Accredited curriculum and government-recognised competency standards in cue-based infant massage and touch education. Her work in designing programs to support healthy touch communication with babies has been recognised in numerous national child protection and violence prevention awards, and is used in hundreds of hospitals, community centres and early childhood settings across Australia.
Alice is a well-known trainer in the ACT health and community sector, with a reputation for her immersive and engaging presentation style that emphasises the linking of research to the realities of working with young children and their families.
She supports staff, leaders and organisations seeking to improve social, mental health and education outcomes for babies and very little children in their services. Alice uses programming, projects, training and mentoring to support teams and leaders to use, extend and embed relationship-focussed practices leading to improved learning, development and social well-being in infancy and early childhood.
Alice has worked with, consulted to, and trained staff from a wide variety of service-delivery organisations, programs and projects. These have included UNICEF; NSW and Tasmanian Deptartments of Education (Early Childhood); HIPPY; Lady Gowrie; Relationships Australia; Barnardos; and numerous hospital and public health services, among others. Her roles have spanned research, evaluation, program design, project management, service delivery, supervision and mentoring, vocational training and professional development, policy development and audit contexts.
Alice’s work in supporting organisations to support children’s early relationships, learning, safety and well-being has been recognised across numerous state-level and national awards.
In addition, Alice is currently undertaking postgraduate research at Deakin University, examining the meaning of infant and toddler cues and behaviour in early childhood setting, and how educator mentalisations might impact on responsiveness in the educator-child dyad with implications for long-term outcomes. Alice also has special interests in integrated (teaching) programming, and the application of trauma-informed principles in practice.
* How healthy touch contributes to infant affect regulation, social and mental health development.
* What is “healthy” touch?
* Healthy touch in babies’ emotional communication, play and joint attention, self-image and language development.
* Barriers to healthy touch, and touch-related communication problems.
* Strategies for promoting consent and infant-led touch.
* Touch-related trauma and hypersensitivty – trauma-sensitive strategies for promoting and using healthy and respectful touch with babies in every-day community and care settings.
2 hours (live webinar, with a 5 min break mid-way)
Alice originally trained as a Registered Nurse, and is an Early Childhood Educator. For 25 years has worked with parents, health and early childhood professionals, and organisations to strengthen development and learning outcomes. She specialises in the use of relationship-based practice and early mental health, social and emotional development. Her many achievements have been recognised in child protection, violence prevention, and early childhood education awards.