More than 30 years helping parents and babies

PCPS® was first developed in 1990 by Dr. Cerezo, Chair of Psychology at the University of Valencia, Spain. In September 2000, Dr. Cerezo was granted special permission from the University of Valencia to go to Dublin as a Visiting Professor at Trinity College and The Children’s Research Centre, with the specific commitment to develop an Irish version of the service, PCPS®, which was finally launched in 2001. The service has helped more than 5,000 babies.

“When I developed PCPS®, I asked myself two questions. From my personal experience, as a mother of two children, I wondered what I would have needed to have for my baby and myself. From my research and professional work, the question sought what science was saying about early development.“  Prof. Cerezo, PCPS® Developer.

Prof. M. Ángeles Cerezo, bringing science to families

She is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Valencia. She obtained her Doctorate Degree in Psychology in the University of Madrid, in 1983. Winner of Best Scholarship and National Academic Achievement awards, her post-doctoral research, as a Fulbright Scholar with Dr. R. Wahler at the University of Tennessee, focused on parent-child interaction in disadvantage families.

She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. The quality of her scientific productivity and the transfer of knowledge to society has been consistently recognized by the Spanish Higher Education quality assurance agency (CNEAI) by the awarding of five, consecutive, externally-evaluated, six-year research periods. Dr. Cerezo has collaborated with institutions, agencies and governments agencies in American, European and Spanish projects. She has been Visiting Professor in University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Northern Illinois University and most recently in York University, Toronto, invited by Distinguished Professor Deborah Pepler. She has also been a Senior Associate Editor of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Her areas of expertise are: Caregiver-child interaction, Attachment, functional/ dysfunctional interaction, and interactive patterns in parent-child conflict with pre-school and school-aged children. Currently her work focuses on two fronts (1) promoting children’s emotional security by supporting parenting and attunement in community services like PCPS® and (2) researching predictors of the quality of Attachment by using advanced Observational Methodologies and Dynamic Systems Analyses the results of which can be transferred into better intervention.

PCPS® in figures

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Securely attached children

Achieved levels of secure attachment ranging between 74-85%. This compares to the general population samples of 60-65%. In areas where families experience multiple challenges secure attachments is as low as 30%.

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Progressing in development
90% of children in PCPS® services are progressing in line with, or ahead of, global development expectations.
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Reduction in parental stress

95% of participants fall below the clinical range for stress when their child was 15 months old.

Testimonials of parents and professionals

“I love to understand how a baby’s mind works. It’s only there when you’re getting the feedback. You have the opportunity to sit down and think how the baby’s brain work and what can I do. When I finish the appointments with PCPS I go home and share the information with my partner. So if it wasn’t for PCPS I’d actually feel very alone and it’s purely down to it that I feel that I have just such a security blanket now. I really think it helps parents and children so everyone should know that it exists.” PCPS® mum.

“A support like this is very important because the truth is that you receive very good advice about the development of your baby. And it also encourages you a lot to see that you’re doing a good job as a parent.“ PCPS® dad.

“After the birth of my third son PCPS® opened a new world with the support offered to my husband and me. For the first time I felt supported from the outset. No post-natal depression this time and I really enjoyed my son. The service showed me how to play and how it impacts on growth and development. It was amazing to take time to sit and bond with my baby.” PCPS® mum.
“The quality of the parent-child interaction is crucial in fostering secure attachment so as to optimise a safe and nutured outcome for children. Central to this concept is the need for parents to be supported and enabled to fufil their parenting role. The collaborative and partnered approach of Public Health Nursing, Speech and Language Therapy, Psychology, Young Ballymun and the PCPS® offers a seamless, interdisciplinary service that is tailored around the needs of children, parents, families and the community. All of professionals privileged to be part of this iniative recognise that early intervention and prevention in the formative years is an investment for the future generations.” Yvonne Fitzsimons, Director of Public Health Nursing.
“There is not a parent alive without an issue and wanting to know how they’re doing. PCPS® makes her feel cared for, she finds out where she is at and how she can be helped to produce even better outcomes for her child. I’ve seen the change in people before my eyes. The individual stations have a real impact, and I’ve seen real difference in children… PCPS® is one of the most evidence based and safe programmes I have ever worked on. It doesn’t provide the same solution for each child, it’s different for each child and each family. Even for two children in the same family it identifies different support needs for each one […]. PCPS® isn’t an expensive programme. It is gold dust for outcomes […]. If Carlsberg did parenting programmes, it would be PCPS®.” Anita O’Rourke, Tusla, Child and Family Agency Social Care Leader.

Primary Care Centre of the Year Award

Winner of the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards 2014. In the photo, PCPS® team with Mr. Alex White, minister in the Irish Department of Health.