Past projects


Parenting support quality mark to follow parenting classes voucher trial

CANparent £100 parenting classes vouchers trial Boots

Ecorys, Parenting UK and Orion are pleased to be supporting the Department for Education’s CANparent market development project, which will be building on the £100 parenting voucher trial.

CANparent market development

As part of the work to develop a quality mark for universal parenting classes and a sustainable market within the parenting sector, we have arranged a calendar of support events. These free one-day events will help parent support organisations to grow, improve marketing and to engage more parents. Each event is tailored specifically on how theory can be applied to the parenting classes market and will be delivered by various experts. Each event will be advertised via the CANparent and Parenting UK websites, with booking available 3 months before each event.

For more information on the parenting support quality mark, please keep an eye on the Parenting UK website and members' bulletins, as an announcement will be made shortly.

Free parenting classes voucher trial

The two-year trial, which ran from 2012-2014, aimed to encourage all parents and carers to access parenting classes and advice, helping parents at one of the most demanding stages of their lives and helping to make accessing parenting support as normal as attending antenatal classes.
Parents and carers who look after a child resident in one of the three areas of Camden, High Peak or Middlesbrough were able to pick up their £100 parenting classes voucher at various locations such as nurseries, children's centres, community centres, schools, GP surgeries and local Boots stores to claim a place on one of several different local classes available.

Classes and advice on offer as part of the trial included online and telephone support, one to one sessions, and eight week classes which involve the whole family in activities such as cooking a meal together. Some classes were available in the evenings and at weekends, and some also offered parents a crèche. The trial was open to dads, mums, grans and grandads and anyone who cares for a child aged 0-5 to offer support with communicating with their child, rules and routines, coping with sleep issues and other popular topics. 

Pamela Park, Director of Business Development at Parenting UK says, "Parenting UK is delighted to be part of the CANparent network - the bedrock of early intervention.  By providing parenting classes and advice to all parents, learning about and improving parenting becomes completely normal – just like attending antenatal classes.  We hope this trial will lead to a culture change, where parents with children of any age are comfortable seeking advice and support before problems become more serious.”
Find out what parenting classes can offer, watch our video

Ecorys, Parenting UK and Orion worked together to support the local providers in each area. The consortium managed voucher production and distribution, the website and a helpline for parents wanting to access the free classes. We also worked with the local workforce in distributing vouchers to parents through children's centres, nurseries, health visitors, leisure centres and GP surgeries, as well as making payments to class providers and gathering data from the trial.
This offer was supported by the Department for Education in 2011 to understand what parents want, what they find helpful, and how they can make more information and support available in future.  

Improving Futures

We have been commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund (in partnership with Ecorys, the University of Nottingham and Ipsos Mori) to conduct an evaluation of the Improving Futures programme.

Improving Futures is a UK-wide programme that aims to improve the lives of children growing up in families with multiple and complex needs.

The project also sets out to improve knowledge and evidence about the types of approaches that make the most difference to children’s futures, so evaluation and learning are an essential part of the programme.

The evaluation will run over five years from 2011 to 2016, during which we will assess the effectiveness and impact of the programme. We will support the 26 local projects to identify outcomes and measure progress over time. The evaluation will focus on capturing and sharing learning between the individual projects, and disseminating findings to policy-makers and practitioners across the UK.

The Improving Futures website and portal for the individual projects are now live. Visit

You can now read all about the Year 1 Evaluation Report and download the top tips learned from the projects' inaugural year in our news section.

Parentchannel logo.jpg is an online service designed to support and encourage parents and carers of children aged 0-19, with a collection of videos addressing day-to-day questions and concerns spanning wellbeing, behaviour and learning.

Latest news

Parenting UK is pleased to announce that we have extended our video offer on ( to include videos for parents with children under 5, providing advice and support focussing on improving the parent–child relationship and home learning environment in the critical early years.

There are now 25 new videos for parents of babies and toddlers, covering a range of topics such as forming a relationship with your new baby, social and emotional development, speech and learning, tantrums, safety in the home, and much more.

The new videos, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, with additional support from DBDA, The Infant & Toddler Forum and Ladybird Books, can parents to understand child development, offering a broad range of parenting advice.

These videos are designed to help parents to understand the importance of playing and engaging in simple learning activities at home with their children as part of normal daily life, helping children overcome risk factors such as poverty and class that are linked to underachievement and a continued cycle of disadvantage. By providing accessible high-quality videos featuring both expert advice and empathy from other parents, with signposting to further advice where needed, we can help to ensure all parents have the knowledge and skills necessary to give their children the best start in life.

Pamela Park, Parenting UK’s Director of Business Development says, “We are delighted to be able to extend our videos to cover the whole age range, providing comprehensive advice for parents that is easily accessible. We strongly believe in the importance of parents understanding how crucial the first few years really are. Our videos offer tips and advice to help parents give their children the best start in life.”

About features a collection of short and engaging parenting support videos with links to existing services for further information, advice and support where needed. In producing these videos we have engaged experts and parents every step of the way.

In addition to the site, the videos are available for use on other sites. If you would like parenting videos to be available on your website, just click on 'embed video' during playback and follow the instructions, or get in touch with us if you need any assistance.

Watch videos now on


Department for Education project

Parenting UK worked in partnership with WAVE Trust to run a series of events to promote greater understanding and use of evidence-based family and parenting interventions among voluntary and community sector organisation.

As part of a grant received under the Department for Education’s 'Improving Outcomes for Children, Young People and Families' fund we offered a programme of topical roundtables, information seminars and webinars between 2011 and 2013, as well as producing best practice resources to ensure current thinking from academia and think tanks is readily available to anyone working with parents.

You can read the monthly briefing papers which came out of the project, and give updates on a range of proven parenting and family support,