Free parenting classes offered to 50,000 mums and dads – could you be one?

The Government is trialling free parenting classes in a bid to promote positive relationships within the family

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When it comes to parenting, nearly all mums and dads would like regular access to information and advice, according to a 2009 survey by Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents. Following this, the Government has announced it’s offering free parenting classes to approximately 50,000 parents around the country.

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So could you be one of them? The trials will run in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire and Camden, and will be available for all parents of children aged five and under.

“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,” said Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather.

“Armed with all the 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 most 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,” added Sarah.

The parenting classes will cover how to manage conflict, how to promote positive behaviour, the importance of mums and dads working as a team and understanding the importance of boundaries and routines to children. The classes aim to strengthen the positive relationships in the family.

The parenting classes will begin in summer 2012 and will trial run for two years. Parents will receive vouchers to pay for the classes in the three chosen areas.

“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,” said Sarah.

What do you think? Would you like to go to parenting classes if you could?

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