Free parenting classes
Charities including the National Childbirth Trust, Save the Children and the Fatherhood institute will offer free parenting classes for those with children under the age of five, under new government plans for ‘more external help with childcare’.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 28th March 2012
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather announced in October 2011 that the classes will be trialed in three areas, Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire and Camden, and will be available for all parents of children aged five years and under. The parents will be given vouchers to pay for these classes. Teather said: “The overwhelming evidence, from all the experts, is that a child’s development in the first five years of their life is the single biggest factor influencing their future life chances, health and educational attainment.
Armed with all this evidence, it is the Government’s moral and social duty to make sure we support all parents at this critical time. Parents have one of the toughest and most important jobs – but unlike so many other areas of our lives, they don’t get a training manual or a how-to guide.
I want to get rid of the stigma attached to asking for help. Parenting classes aren’t just for struggling families with complex problems. All parents should know it’s ok to ask for extra support and guidance when they need it – just as most do when they attend ante-natal classes before their child is born”.
The classes will begin next month, and the trial is expected to run for two years. They will cover areas such as:
- how to promote positive behaviour with better communication and listening skills;
- managing conflict;
- the importance of mothers and fathers working as a team;
- the appropriate play for age/development;
- understanding the importance of boundaries and routines to children;
- firm, fair and consistent approaches to discipline; and
- strengthening positive relationships in the family.
Photography: Kevin Lawver @Flickr