Frameworks Resources

To support your valuable role as Change Agents we have included summaries of the Core Story and our Metaphors as well as links to the videos.  These can be used to support the reframing work around early child development in Blackpool.

Please get in touch if there is any further support or advice you need, or if you feel this is a role you are interested in. 

The Core Story 

The Core Story of Early Child Development brings together all the key elements of child development  including brain architecture which is how brains develop. It explains why the early years matter as early experiences affect the architecture of the developing brain, and getting it right first time is easier than trying to fix things later. 

Video –



Serve and Return

 Positive communication between adults and children helps to build healthy brains. It is part of a crucial process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. 

Brains are built through back-and-forth interaction, a bit like a game of tennis, ping pong or volleyball.   

Healthy brains develop when babies and young children ‘serve’ through babbling, gestures or words, and adults ‘return’ in a similar way, communicating and getting in sync with the child.  

This is how neural connections are made and from the earliest stages of life a child seeks, and needs, this interaction.  It comes in many forms including eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, babbling, shared focus and eventually words.

Air Traffic Control 

The skills to focus on a task and manage distractions, is an important ability children can develop which will benefit them throughout their lives. 

During the early years children develop ‘executive function’, a set of mental skills that work like air traffic control at a busy airport.   

This set of skills and abilities are the cognitive skills we use to manage multiple demands completing for our attention and include co-ordinating multiple types and streams of information in order to get to an appropriate course of action, prioritizing tasks/goals, information and the ability to shift attention from one task to another as necessary.

 Toxic Stress

 Chronic, severe stressors can cause a response that is toxic to the developing brain and has long-term effects on health and wellbeing.   

There are different types of stress – short periods of low-level stress are normal and healthy – that is positive stress.  Other types can affect the body’s alarm systems and disrupt health and development that affect children into adulthood. 

In the early years the way children respond to chronic stress depends on the supportive relationships they have with those around them.  Stable, responsive relationships can help act as a buffer against a toxic stress response and make stress tolerable. 

Weaving Skill Ropes

Learning is about the brain weaving skills together to form strong skill ropes.  This learning starts in the early years and goes on throughout life.

Skill ropes are made of many strands which are intertwined and equally important. Children need to develop a wide range of skills; the more complex and advanced the skill the more skills they involve.

Skill ropes don’t weave themselves – learning is an active process that requires certain conditions including the chance to practice and apply the learning.

Discover more about Skill Ropes -


Because children’s mental health enables them to function in all areas of life it is crucial to healthy development.

As the levelness of a table is what makes it function, good mental health helps a child to function and support other areas of their development.

If a floor is slanted the table will become unlevel, similar to the way that a change in a child’s circumstances can result in poor mental health and have a negative effect on that child’s development and future outcomes.

Levelness can be adjusted by a range of interventions and outcomes can be improved.

Explore Levelness -

Resilience Scale

A positive outcome for children is like a scale that is tipped towards one side. It can be influenced by counterbalancing the weights and by adjusting the balance point.

Positive experiences and influences that help health and development get placed on one side and negative experiences or influences that aren’t good for development are placed on another. 

Weights can be added or subtracted from either side at any time and not all weights are the same. So different experiences can affect outcomes for a child’s well-being and resilience.

Find out more about the Reslience Scale -