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What we do

Foundation Years Information and Research exists to ensure that the vital importance of the first years of life is recognised by our society. Our aim is:

  • To advance public education and understanding of the substantial body of scientific work on the extent to which the earliest relationships play a major role in shaping a baby’s brain and in influencing their future mental and physical health

  • To promote research and study into all aspects of the foregoing, including improved knowledge of neuroscience and developmental processes and to make available the useful results

The Co-Chairs of FYIR are Karen Buck MP and Catherine West MP. Our first Chair was Frank Field, who was commissioned by David Cameron, when Prime Minister, to conduct the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances in 2010. He is now our president. The group’s membership includes specialists in neuroscience, child development, education and psychiatry. Members are policy-makers, academics and professionals in front-line services. 

Foundation Years Information and Research hosts regular meetings and seminars for policy makers and front-line service commissioners, researchers and providers. More information on our programme and activies can be found in events.


Your genes are not your destiny

Professor Stephen Suomi,
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland

It is no good arguing for resilience based on secure attachment if we do not also argue for a society that welcomes it 

Dr. Sebastian Kraemer,
Honorary Consultant, Tavistock Clinic

Regardless of their level of wealth, societies can make progress on early child development by allocating as little as $1.00 in this area for every $10.00 spent on health and education 

World Health Organisation

Darwin was half right. It’s not just survival of the fittest, but also survival of the most loved.

Dr Rob Hale,
Retired Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist,
Tavistock and Portman Clinics London.

Who we are

  • Karen Buck MP 
  • Catherine West MP
  • Lord Field of Birkenhead
  • Dr Rob Hale
  • Dr Amanda Jones
  • Nick Peacey 
  • Dr Robin Balbernie
  • Professor Gabriella Conti
  • Professor Dame Sarah Cowley
  • Professor Pasco Fearon
  • Professor Eva Lloyd
  • Dr Carine Minne
  • Dr Matthias von der Tann

Expert Advisers:

  • Emma Ackerman
  • Chris Cuthbert
  • Dilys Daws
  • Professor Peter Fonagy
  • Dr Sue Gerhardt
  • Professor Jane Hurry
  • Dr Sebastian Kraemer
  • Dr Liz McDonald
  • Professor Lynne Murray
  • Graham Music
  • Andrew Pitt
  • Julie Revels
  • Professor Stephen Suomi
  • Professor Mary Target