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CANparent Classes

Parents want the best for their children, to see them thrive and enjoy their childhood, but being a parent isn’t always easy. Around three-quarters of parents say they want information and support to help their parenting.

Most parents attend antenatal classes but why stop there? There are some excellent sources of advice and support out there, and we want to help parents find them.

That’s why the Department for Education is running a Parenting Classes Trial, giving over 50,000 parents in Camden, Middlesbrough and High Peak in Derbyshire a voucher worth £100 to spend with the CANparent classes and advice network. The trial will test how best a new market in parenting classes for all parents can be established, to substantially expand the availability of universal parenting classes.

The vouchers will be available to parents in Camden from the 23 April and in the other two areas in the following weeks.

Parents can choose from a range of different options to suit them and their lifestyle – from face to face groups to online support. They can find the time and place to learn about what really matters to them and share advice on what really works.

All providers and their courses have been approved by the Department for Education and the courses are designed on evidence-based principles.

How will it work?

Mums, dads and other important carers of children aged five and under in the three areas will be offered a voucher worth £100 to pay for classes. Vouchers will be available to parents through a number of early years and parenting/ family sector organisations locally including children’s centres, GP surgeries and community centres.

Parents can then visit or telephone 0845 601 5833 to find out more and book their course.

What does the trial mean for the early years sector?

All those who come into contact with parents in their work are vital ambassadors for this trial, in telling parents about it, helping encourage parents to take up a course of classes to support their parenting and giving them a voucher.

To find out more about the trial and to sign up to become a distribution partner, please visit:

New resources on helping parents who separate

Parents face many issues when they separate and often turn to early years professionals for help. So it’s becoming increasingly important for professionals to know how to support families and children in coping with issues around separation.

It is usually best for children if their parents work together after they separate and play a positive role in their lives. Working together after separation isn’t easy and many parents don’t know where they can get information and support. As a professional working in the Foundation Years, you can play a key role in helping parents to find the information and support they need.

One way that parents may be able to work together is to make a child maintenance arrangement. Child maintenance can make a real difference to children and give them the best start in life as it can help pay for things like clothing, food or other essentials. It could also help keep both parents involved with their children’s lives.

We have worked with the Child Maintenance Options service to provide information on child maintenance for professionals working with children and families in the foundation years. The Child Maintenance Options service provides free information and support to help parents put child maintenance arrangements in place. The service is also available to family, friends, guardians, and anyone else who knows a family going through separation. You can find out more about child maintenance and Child Maintenance Options here.

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