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Parents to be given a checklist

4th August 2011

Proposals that will see parents given a five-a-day checklist detailing how they should bring up their children are gaining ministerial support.

motherandbaby1

The campaign will see advertising on radio, television and in nurseries and on buses and will detail how parents should play, read, talk, praise, and feed their children every day.

The proposal – which will also involve toy firms – will adopt a similar branding to the “five-a-day” fruit and vegetables dietary campaign.

Children’s minister Sarah Teather has warmly welcomed the proposals from the think-tank, CentreForum.

She said: “Raising greater awareness of the importance of high quality parenting skills and building strong family relationships for children in the foundation years and beyond is invaluable.

“Central to achieving this ambition is to help parents and encourage a culture where there is no stigma attached to asking for parenting advice and support and where professionals can give support to mothers and fathers.

“I will be interested to hear the views of the sector on the report's suggestion of ‘5-a-day for child development’ as we take forward (our) ambitions.”

The initiative follows research that has found the direction and progress a child makes through life is influenced by the quality of early parenting and education.

Poorer children are often less likely to read or eat a good diet, for example, and the project indicates that poorer parents be potentially “incentivised” to attend courses to help them complete the “five-a-day” essential actions.

The report, Parenting Matters, calls for professional parenting advice to become as widespread as antenatal classes.

 

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