Parenting Lessons

The Times - 02 May 2019
Sir, Alice Thomson issues a rallying cry for the government to rescue the life chances of children born into the most disadvantaged households (“Good parenting doesn’t come from a manual”, May 1). Back in the 1990s, when Sure Start was beginning to receive significant investment under the Labour government, I lobbied for a chunk of these new monies to be put into Home-Start. This organisation works with parents in their own home, which can only be good for children as well as the parents’ confidence and sense of wellbeing.

We now need to take foundation years policy into new territory. In addition to Home-Start I am advocating for an intensive programme through which parents receive two home visits a week — with a new book or educational toy brought in for their child each time — and are supported to become their child’s first teacher. The Frank Field Education Trust is seeking to implement such a programme and, over time, I hope that parents themselves could help to organise it within their local community.
Frank Field MP

House of Commons