Parents need basic baby help, states new report

Regular checks on babies until school and targeted help for struggling parents are two of the recommendations

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A new report is recommending that a national parenting campaign should be launched to help children from the moment they’re born – and even while they’re still in the womb.

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Focusing on new parents and pregnant women, the campaign would help mums and dads to understand the importance of bonding with a new baby, and how simple actions such as cuddling and laughing with your baby can help their development.

The report, backed by the Coalition Government, recommends:

  • Talking to your unborn baby while pregnant – as research shows the tone of your voice can influence your growing baby
  • Teaching parents about the importance of baby development in the first 18 months and how bonding actions such as cuddling and smiling can help your baby
  • Regular checks on how children are developing socially and emotionally from birth to the age of five, to make sure they’re ready for starting school
  • Giving young mums in need access to hands-on support from a family nurse
  • Increasing the number of graduates working in early years education

The report was written by Labour MP Graham Allen, who is calling on the Government to enable all children to have a better start in life.

“Early intervention is the answer,” says Mr Allen, “A range of well-tested programmes, low in cost, high in results, can have a lasting impact on all children, especially the most vulnerable.”

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Other organisations, such as the Family and Parenting Institute have backed the report, but there is concern that big ideas like this need big funds, and in the current climate of cutbacks it’s not clear where the funding would come from.

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