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Supporting Families in the Foundation Years, published on 18 July 2011, set out the Government’s intention for more families to be able to benefit from more readily available parenting advice and support from pregnancy until the age of five. Families in the Foundation Years and Supporting Families in the Foundation Years together set out the Government’s vision for the foundation years.
Children’s future attainment, well being, happiness and resilience are profoundly affected by the quality of their experiences during early childhood. Parents are the most important influence, but high quality early education can also make a big difference to children’s life.
The Parenting Classes Trial (which is called CANparent) was announced in October 2011, by the Minister of State for Children and Families, Sarah Teather MP. She said:
Being a parent is one of the most important jobs you can do. Parents are the most important influence on a child’s healthy development and future lives. We know from the demand for self help books and from speaking to mums and dads that they would welcome light touch key advice and support from time to time.
Most parents go to ante-natal classes before their child is born. We want parents to be able to seek help and advice in the earliest years of their child’s life and for this to be a normal part of family life.
Unfortunately in some people’s minds there is a stigma attached to asking for help or attending parenting classes. So we have chosen a wide range of expert organisations, with a good track record of reaching out to parents of all backgrounds. They will attract and engage parents through a mixture of face-to-face and online classes, and in a variety of community settings including schools and children’s centres.
The settings for classes need to be attractive and convenient to parents, and offered in a variety of locations.
On 26 November the Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, visited the CANparent trial in New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire.
He talked to members of the foundation years workforce who are distributing vouchers to parents, and attended a parenting class delivered by Derbyshire County Council where he talked to parents about their experiences. He said:
I want all families to be able to access and benefit from parenting classes if they choose, creating a culture where seeking help to strengthen parenting skills is the norm.
Visit the Department YouTube page to see a film of the Minister’s visit.
Parenting class trial
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Help and support for parents from pregnancy right through to when their child is five.
Includes more information about the trial, where you can pick up a voucher and what classes are available in the trial areas.
Includes information about how sector organisations can get involved with the trial and has a number of FAQs.