PM launches parenting classes

The Government is launching free parenting classes. It is one of a range of measures designed to provide advice and support to new parents, including a new website and tailored email and text services.

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PM: Free parenting classes are an 'extra service' to the Sure Start scheme

The Prime Minister was asked today if the money going towards the government's new free parenting classes should be put towards existing children's services such as the Sure Start scheme. Mr Cameron responded:

This is an extra service. The great thing about it is everyone that goes to have a baby on the NHS gets a midwife attached to them, this is a really personal service they can get via email or other methods so they keep in touch and they have those vital tips.

This is for everyone so it will reach those hard-to-reach mums who probably need it the most .

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Labour MP: 'Increasing amount of poor parenting'

Former Welfare Minister for the Labour party Frank Field told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that there is an 'increasing amount of inadequate parenting':

I've never met a young person who has said, 'I want to be a poor parent', and yet we have increasing numbers of them turning out to be poor parents.

It is the job of the state to kick-start activities which in the past would be done by families and civil society.

Ministers hope parenting scheme will be seen as 'normal ante-natal classes'

Free parenting classes are not a "nanny state" policy, David Cameron insisted as he unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at helping families.

The scheme, known as Can Parent, is said to be the brainchild of the Prime Minister's strategy adviser Steve Hilton.

Courts can already impose such classes on parent of unruly children, but ministers hope that with the involvement of chemist Boots offering vouchers, it will persuade families to see them as normal ante-natal classes.

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