David Cameron launches the CANparent network today offering all parents and carers of children aged 0-5 in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire and the London Borough of Camden a £100 parenting classes voucher.
Prime Minister David 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.
"We’re doing the big, long-term things to make this country stronger for our children – dealing with our debts; having a massive push for better schools; working to create more good, skilled jobs in our economy.
"But we’re also focussed on making life easier for parents day-to-day, from extending childcare to increasing the number of health visitors. The parenting classes and films we’re launching this week are an important part of that, providing clear, professionally-led advice on everything from teething to tantrums."
From today parents and carers in these three areas will be able to pick up their voucher at local Boots stores as well as certain nurseries, children's centres, community centres, schools and GP surgeries in their area to claim a place on one of several different local classes available.
Classes and advice on offer include online and telephone support, one to one sessions, and eight week classes which involve the whole family in activities such as cooking a meal together. There are some classes available in the evenings and at weekends, and some also offer parents a crèche. The classes are for dads, mums, grans and grandads and anyone who cares for a child aged 0-5 to offer support with communicating with their child, rules and routines, coping with sleep issues and other popular topics.
Parents who have attended these classes said:
“The best part was meeting other people, discussing our problems and finding out about the little things we can do.”
“It has helped my partner and I work together as a team.”
Pamela Park, Chief Executive of Parenting UK says, "Parenting UK is delighted to be part of the CANparent network – the bedrock of early intervention. By providing parenting classes and advice to all parents, learning about and improving parenting becomes completely normal, just like attending antenatal classes. We hope this trial will lead to a culture change, where parents with children of any age are comfortable seeking advice and support before problems become more serious.”
Kursat Levent Egriboz, Managing Director of EcorysUK’s Technical Assistance Division says, “We are extremely pleased to be heading up the consortium and also to be working with the voluntary sector in each of the trial areas. The voluntary sector will be vital in helping us to deliver support to parents, providers and practitioners. We are committed to showing parents that they are not alone and that there is flexible and tailored support available to help them to improve their relationships with their children.”
This trial is run by the Department for Education so that it can understand what parents want, what they find helpful, and how they could make more information and support available in future. Around three-quarters of parents say they want information and support to help their parenting. The trial is about improving opportunities and choice for parents to access the information and support they want.
Ecorys, Parenting UK and Orion are working together and will be supporting the local providers in each area. The consortium will manage voucher production and distribution, the website and a helpline for parents wanting to access the free classes. We will also be working with the local workforce in distributing vouchers to parents through children’s centres, nurseries, health visitors, leisure centres and GP surgeries, as well as making payments to class providers and gathering data from the trial.
For further information about the CANparent network including where to find vouchers and a full list of parenting class providers in each area visit www.canparent.org.uk
For all media enquiries please contact:
Rachel Tonkin, Head of Communications, Parenting UK
020 7284 8379 (out of hours 07545 758056)