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Social and emotional early development (SEEDS)

SEEDS is a mental health promotion framework designed to enhance the social and emotional well-being of children, families and staff working in early childhood services.

It was developed by Southern Regional Services, Division of the Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health, and incorporates the latest evidence-based practice on promotion of attachment and social and emotional wellbeing in early childhood.

The SEEDS framework recognises that social and emotional well-being develops through nurturing and valuing relationships between young children, parents and staff of early childhood services and their local community.

SEEDS explores how the ‘head’, ‘heart’, and ‘hands’ contributes to nurturing relationships. The framework emphasises key practice principles, including making time to talk, reflecting on individual practice and nurturing connectedness.

SEEDS Package

The SEEDS package includes:

  • SEEDS framework poster
  • SEEDS packet that highlights the role of health promotion in early childhood
  • Foldout flower which highlights the needs of children, staff, parents and community and strategies to enhance social and emotional well-being
  • CD that contains tools and resources to support the implementation of SEEDS within your early childhood community
  • ‘Free use’ copyright for educational purposes

Other features of the SEEDS package:

  • supported by the Queensland Health, Healthy bodies healthy minds framework for the childcare sector; a must have resource for every childcare service.
  • uses the latest research and evidence based practice
  • compliments accreditation standards and the Early Years Learning Framework
  • provides links to numerous resources and supporting information
  • contains practical examples to facilitate change.

SEEDS Professional Support:

During 2009, Professional Support Coordinator Queensland (PSCQ) and The Gowrie (Qld) Inc. commenced SEEDS professional development workshops throughout Queensland for senior child care and family day care staff. The workshops were delivered over a day and a half using the SEEDS manual and DVD developed by The Gowrie Queensland.

This professional support aimed to:

  • increase understanding of the links between early brain development, secure attachment and responsive care giving
  • learn ways to work with children, families and communities to support social and emotional early development
  • work together to plan and trial strategies and activities within services

For further information about PSCQ SEEDS professional development or to register your interest in SEEDS workshops please go to Professional Support Coordinator Queensland (PSCQ):

For further information about SEEDS activities and resources, please contact:

Brisbane South Public Health Unit
Southern Public Health Services
Ph: (07) 3000 9148

Other early childhood resource links

Professional Support Coordinator Queensland (PSCQ)
Professional support for childcare services such as networking, workshops and innovative activities

Australian Association of Infant Mental Health Inc.
Emotional well-being of infants - offering publications, newsletters, membership, etc.

ABC parenting
Parenting in a nutshell. Raising children from newborns to school age. Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Circle of Security™
Early intervention program designed to alter the developmental pathway of parents and their young children.

Early Childhood Australia
Information on attachment.

Early Childhood Connections

Early Childhood Teachers Association

Early Years Learning Framework

The Gowrie Queensland

The Indigenous Professional Support Unit

Marte Meo

National Investment for the Early Years (NIFTeY)

Raising children
This Australian parenting web site provides excellent information, articles and fact sheets about newborns, babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Zero to three
A United States site which supports healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families and provides information, e-store and more.

Playgroup Queensland

Other Resources
Healthy bodies healthy minds
Health promoting schools
Happy teeth
Southern Regional Services
Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

Last updated: 27 November 2012

Image of the SEEDS mental health promotion framework

Staffs experience of SEEDS

I have begun to rethink the way I talk and respond to the children.
Looking around the centre now, I see a lot of hands working, always something to do, a routine to meet, a timeline of events. Care givers could take a moment off the busy schedule and be aware of being more emotionally available to the children.

Parents experience of SEEDS
I have a much better appreciation for the job of child care staff.
I am more aware of spending time with my child preparing them for things that we are doing; talk about what is going to happen.
I talked to my husband about things I learned It has helped my son form a better attachment with his dad.