Incredible Years | Parent & Teacher Programmes

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Whāraurau provides training and ongoing professional development opportunities for those delivering The Incredible Years® parent and teacher programmes, including support to maintain programme fidelity, to become an accredited group leader and to deliver with cultural fidelity.

We currently offer workforce support and training for the following Incredible Years® programmes:

  • Preschool BASIC parent
  • Autism spectrum & language delays parent
  • Teacher classroom management
  • Autism spectrum & language delays teacher

What are the Incredible Years® programmes? 

The Incredible Years® is a series of interlocking, evidence-based programmes for parents, children, and teachers, supported by over 30 years of research. The goal is to prevent and treat young children's behaviour problems and promote their social, emotional, and academic competence. The programmes are used worldwide in schools and mental health centres, and have been shown to work across cultures and socioeconomic groups.

The training programmes that compose the Incredible Years® Series are guided by developmental theory on the role of multiple interacting risk and protective factors in the development of conduct problems. The programmes are designed to work jointly to promote emotional, social, and academic competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioural and emotional problems in young children. In the parent, teacher and child training programmes, trained facilitators use video vignettes to structure the content and stimulate group discussions, problem-solving and trigger practices related to participants’ goals. Group leaders are encouraged to become accredited to promote ongoing fidelity to the programme and as a means of receiving extensive feedback! Learn more with the Incredible Years Fact Sheet.

Find out more about The Incredible Years® series, the programme developer, Professor Emeritus Carolyn Webster-Stratton and research relating to The Incredible Years® programmes.

The Incredible Years® in New Zealand

The Ministry of Education currently funds the following Incredible Years® programmes in New Zealand; the Incredible Years Parent Programme, the Incredible Years® Parent Autism Programme (for parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with or showing traits of ASD), the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Training Management programme, and the Incredible Years® Teacher Autism Training Programme (for teachers/kaiako of children diagnosed with or showing traits of ASD). Read more about the content and objectives of these programmes here.

The impetus behind the implementation of the Incredible Years® programmes was the publication of two significant reports; Conduct problems: Effective programmes for 3-7 year olds (Blissett et al., 2009) and Interagency plan for conduct disorder/severe antisocial behaviour (Church et al., 2007). These reports outlined significant concerns that children as young as three years of age can be identified as being on an antisocial pathway, which can of course lead to significant negative impacts for both the child and society as a whole over the course of the child's lifetime.

Conduct problems have been shown to be the single most important predicting factor of later chronic antisocial behaviour problems. These can include poor mental health, academic underachievement, early school leaving, teenage parenthood, delinquency, unemployment and substance abuse. Many young people displaying these behaviour problems go on to engage in youth offending, family violence, and ultimately serious adult crime.

Webster-Stratton et al., 2011, note that well-trained teachers can help children who are aggressive, disruptive and uncooperative to develop the appropriate social behaviour and emotional self-regulation that will allow them to succeed both academically and in their lives, however many teachers are simply not adequately prepared to manage the escalating number of students with behaviour problems in the classroom. Some teachers even enter the workforce without having taken a single course on behaviour management. The IYT programme is a training programme for teachers grounded in cognitive social learning and relationship theories about the development of antisocial behaviours in children. The IYT programme equips teachers with the skills they need to reduce the occurrence of these antisocial behaviours, leading to better outcomes for the child, the class, and ultimately for society as a whole.

The IYT programme is a behaviour management training programme that is a part of a comprehensive, cross-governmental agency approach to address the significant concerns for children and youth viewed as at risk for negative outcomes. The approach includes a commitment to support kaupapa Māori initiatives Huakina Mai and Te Mana Tikitiki and an intensive wrap around support service to support those with greatest behavioural need.

Incredible Years Parent

The Incredible Years® evidence based parenting programs focus on strengthening parenting competencies and fostering parent involvement in children’s school experiences, to promote children’s academic, social  and emotional skills and reduce conduct problems. The parenting programs are grouped according to age: babies (0-12 months), toddlers (1-3 years), preschoolers (3-6 years), and school age (6-12 years).

Incredible Years Teacher

Teachers find themselves spending increasing amounts of time attending to students’ aggressive, hyperactive and non-compliant behaviors in the classroom. If these behaviors are ignored, or if teachers give them negative attention, they will continue to increase leading to eventual school failure and antisocial behavior. The Teacher Classroom Management Program aims to provide teachers with the skills to effectively manage their classroom and promote children’s social, emotional, and academic competence.


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