“Parents will receive text message and email advice on how to bring up their children after David Cameron said it was ‘ludicrous’ that people get more training in driving a car,” the Daily Mail has reported.
The story, covered in much of the media, is based on the launch of a new interactive service providing information and advice to parents.
Launched today by the prime minister David Cameron, the NHS Information Service for Parents gives mums, dads and parents-to-be advice on issues around staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby. It includes:
The three initiatives are reportedly being launched because of the impact a child’s care early in life has on their health, behaviour and ability to learn throughout their lives. A 2010 Department for Education survey of 2,319 parents of under-threes, found that 85% wanted practical help with caring for their baby.
The free Information Service for Parents emails and texts contain NHS-approved advice and will be sent every week from five weeks pregnant through to four weeks after the birth of your baby. Fathers-to-be can sign up for advice specifically aimed at them. The email and text service is expected to offer more advice for parents of older children in the future.
The videos available from the Information Service for Parents demonstrate practical advice for parents and parents-to-be, including:
There are already around 670,000 visits per month to the pregnancy and baby webpages on NHS Choices.
Visit www.nhs.uk/parents to sign up to the service or find out more information. Alternatively, you can sign up at a midwife appointment or at pregnancy, child or parenting support organisations such as NCT, as well as a host of websites.
The NHS Information Service for Parents was announced alongside a trial of free parenting classes for all parents of children aged five years and under in:
Mums and dads will be able to use vouchers to pay for the parenting classes, which are being offered by a large group of children’s and parenting charities. These parenting class vouchers are available from Boots stores, children’s centres and health visitors.
The government has also launched a trial of subsidised relationship support sessions to help expectant mothers and fathers, and those with children up to the age of two. These sessions are being offered in York, Leeds, North Essex, Hackney and City of London, by Relate, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and the Fatherhood Institute. The sessions are set to include help with: