Information for parents

Being a parent is not always easy. Sometimes your child might do something that surprises you or you might be anxious about your child’s behaviour at school. Parents also often wonder whether they are doing the right thing. Many times, parents worry that they have been too strict or that they have not been strict enough.

There are 100s of programmes in the UK that claim to have the answers, but in truth, we really don’t know if their answers are correct. This is because many parenting programmes have not carefully tested whether the advice they offer actually makes a positive difference in the lives of parents and children.

What makes the programmes on this site different is that they have tested the advice they offer parents and children. In other words, the programmes listed here are evidence-based, meaning that they have scientifically tested whether the information they provide consistently makes things better for parents and children.

This website also provides information about the quality of parenting programmes in terms of their:

  1. Ability to meet the needs of the families who participate in them
  2. Content and activities
  3. Support for practitioners and organisations

The programmes on this site are usually offered to parents free of charge through their local Sure Start Children’s Centres, their children’s school or their health provider. The availability of these programmes is different for each local authority, so parents should get in touch with their health visitor, GP or child’s teacher to find out more about how they can attend. Parents can also get in touch with the programme provider listed in each programme summary.

If you’re looking for more general parenting advice, there are lots of books, DVDs and websites, as well as online discussion forums.

Please note, the DfE does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites.