Prime Minister launches free parenting classes
Free parenting classes are not a “nanny state” policy, David Cameron insisted as he unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at helping families.
The Can Parent, government funded activities include:
- £100-worth of parenting classes from high street chemist Boots to parents of under 5’s in 3 trial areas.
- To be piloted in Middlesbrough, Camden in north London and High Peak in Derbyshire – but they could be extended throughout England and Wales if successful.
- An email and text from the NHS for parents expecting a baby or in the first month of parenthood.
The Prime Minister said it was ludicrous that people had to train before they were allowed to drive a car but could bring up a baby with no practice at all. The government is launching a new plan that will ‘allow parents to respond to their best instincts’. Courts can already impose such classes on parents of unruly children, but ministers hope that the involvement of Boots will persuade families to see them as just as normal as ante-natal classes.
Parenting classes for everyone
Courts can already impose such classes on parents of unruly children, but ministers hope that the involvement of Boots will persuade families to see them as just as normal as ante-natal classes. The scheme, known as Can Parent, is said to be the brainchild of Mr Cameron’s strategy adviser Steve Hilton.
Mr Cameron said: “Parents are nation-builders. It’s through love and sheer hard work that we raise the next generation with the right values. That’s why this Government is doing everything possible to support parents. “This is not the nanny state – it’s the sensible state. It’s ludicrous that we should expect people to train for hours to drive a car or use a computer, but when it comes to looking after a baby we tell people to just get on with it.
“I would have loved more guidance when my children were babies. We’ve all been there when it’s the middle of the night, your child won’t stop crying and you don’t know what to do. And to those who say that Government should forget about parenting and families and focus on the big, gritty issues, I’d say these are the big, gritty issues.
“Families don’t just shape us as individuals, they make a stronger society. That’s why supporting families is right at the top of our agenda – and I’m going to make sure it stays that way.”
Can the government teach you how to be a parent?
Parents are often blamed for everything from childhood obesity to the riots in London. Is the government on the right track with parenting classes? How does the government make parenting classes as normal as antenatal classes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo: Jakelifer Flickr