For some staff this occurred as a result of the training and information sessions provided by PIEC staff, while for others it occurred while observing children and their interactions.
The EEC workforce is therefore important to the implementation of PIEC, although beyond the control of the program (and indeed, beyond the control of EEC providers).
It has also been difficult in some centres to recruit and retain PIEC workers employed who have experience in early childhood settings and are familiar with attachment theory.
PIEC is delivered through a partnership between individual EEC services, the organisations that auspice or manage those services (local government and not-for-profit corporations) and the Benevolent Society.
Commitment and support from management of partner organisations was more robust if there was a sound understanding of the theoretical and practical application of the three main components of the PIEC program, which involve a focus on individual children, family relationships and a connection to community.
In several cases the services had worked in partnership with the Benevolent Society prior to the introduction of PIEC, and in these centres the implementation seems to have been smoothest.
One last relevant finding from the evaluation is that the implementation of PIEC has been affected by the heterogeneity of family needs; and the ways in which those needs are understood.
PIEC is part of a long tradition of interventions in EEC settings to improve the quality of care provided to vulnerable children, and to ameliorate the effects of poverty in specified domains: in the case of PIEC, it is in the domain of social-emotional development, with a particular focus on attachment relationships and the ecology of childhood.
The challenges posed by implementing PIEC should also be seen in the context of its potential benefits.
The lessons from PIEC therefore contribute to the growing knowledge base on early childhood interventions based in EEC settings.
Interventions such as PIEC are effective in part because they offer targeted support in generalist services, so evidence of increasing social stratification in school education, and the relative absence of children with additional needs in private schools, could be a worrying sign for the future of these interventions.
More broadly, a key dimension of PIEC is its partnership to provide additional services.