14 SES 06 B, Family Education, Parenting and School-Family-Community Partnerships (Part 3)
Paper Session: continued from 14 SES 03 B, 14 SES 04 B and to be continued in 14 SES 07 B
In March 2012, the United Kingdom (UK) coalition government launched the CANparent initiative, for parents and carers of children aged 0-5 years. CANparent provided all parents of children aged 0-5 in three English districts – High Peak, Derbyshire; Middlesbrough, and Camden – with the opportunity to access parenting courses in their area in the period from June, 2012 – March, 2014. The aim was that the trial would stimulate the market, both the supply of and demand for universal parenting classes, offer choice to parents, and introduce a market approach to limit costs and stimulate creative development, including new variants of programmes and their delivery. Consequently, although reference is made here to parenting ‘classes’, this included online delivery, and delivery that blended online with face-to-face and/or telephone support, and self-directed learning.
The target was that over 50,000 parents in the CANparent areas could obtain a voucher worth £100 to spend with the CANparent Classes and Advice Network. Using the vouchers, parents could choose from a range of different parenting options to suit them and their lifestyle - from online support to local groups. The vouchers were available to all mothers, fathers and carers with a child aged 5 or under living in the three CANparent districts. The vouchers were distributed to parents by children’s workforce professionals through the Foundation Years’ workforce in the trial areas. Vouchers could also be collected from selected Boots Stores in the trial areas.
The CANparent initiative built upon previous government backed, and funded, initiatives to extend the impact of parenting support education. The model adopted was based upon the universal applicability of parenting education to all parents and carers in society. In this, the UK coalition government reflected both European recommendations, and those of its own advisory reports. In particular, it followed
the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe’s recommendation that member states should adopt of a range of measures to ‘promote positive parenting as an essential part of the support provided for parenting’ (Council of Europe, 2006). In addition, two reports commissioned by the UK government in 2010 (Field, 2010; and Allen, 2011) also underpinned the government’s CANparent initiative, as did previous successful parenting education initiatives, such as the PEIP, 2006-10 (Cullen, S.M. et al, 2013; Lindsay et al, 2007a, 2007b, 2008, 2009 & 2010). Further, the demand for universal parenting support among parents and carers is clear from research showing that around 75% of parents would like this (Peters et al., 2010), and that about 70% think being a parent is harder now than for earlier generations (Family Lives, 2011).
Although the CANparent initiative lies within the emergent model of universal provision of parenting support education, CANparent also possessed significant new features. In particular, the impact of financial austerity, combined with government enthusiasm for neo-liberal economic models, led to the injection of elements of the market into the CANparent structures.
CEDAR, University of Warwick, along with researchers from TNS BMRB, BPSR,and London Economics evaluated three different strands of the initiative. This paper focuses on work carried out by CEDAR in relation to the 14 organisations that provided parenting classes as part of CANparent. The particular focus of the paper is on the provider organisations’ views of, and responses to, the partial marketization of parenting provision under CANparent. For the majority of providers, operating within a market model was a new experience, and the paper presents evidence and analyses of provider perceptions of, and responses to market imperatives in CANparent.
Allen, G. (2011), Early Intervention: The Next Steps; an Independent Report to Her Majesty’s Government, London, H.M.Government Council of Europe (2006), Recommendation Rec92006)19 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on policy to support positive parenting, Strasbourg, The Cullen, M.A., Cullen, S.M., Strand, S., Bakopoulou, I., Lindsay, G., Brind, R., Pickering, E., Bryson, C., & Purdon, S. (2013), CANparent Trial Evaluation: First Interim Report, Department for Education, DFE-RR280, ISBN: 978-1-78105-223-5 Cullen, M.A., Strand, S., Cullen, S.M., & Lindsay, G. (2014), CANparent Trail Evaluation: Second Interim Report, Department for Education, DFE-RR317, ISBN: 978-1-78105-288-4 Cullen, S.M., Cullen, M.A., Lindsay, G., Strand, S. (2013), 'The Parenting Early Intervention Programme in England, 2006-11; a classed experience?' British Educational Research Journal, 39 (6), 1025-1043 Family Lives (2011), Families Matter: the realities of family life in Britain today, London, Family Lives Field, F. (2010), The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults; the report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances, London, H.M. Government Lindsay, G., Band, S., Cullen, M.A., & Cullen, S. (2007a), Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder, first interim report, Coventry, University of Warwick, CEDAR Lindsay, G., Band, S., Cullen, M.A., & Cullen, S. (2007b), Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder, second interim report, DCSF-RW035, London, DCSF Lindsay, G., Davies, H., Band, S., Cullen, M.A., Cullen, S., Strand, S., Hasluck, C., Evans, R., & Stewart-Brown, S (2008), Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder Evaluation, DCSF-RW054, London, DCSF Lindsay, G., Cullen, S., Band, S., Cullen, M.A., & Strand, S (2009), Evaluation of the Parenting Early Intervention Programme; 1st Interim Report, London, DCSF, DCSF-RR193 Lindsay, G., Strand, S., Cullen, M.A., Band, S., Cullen, S. (2010), Parenting Early Intervention Programme: 2nd interim report, London, DFE, DFE-RR047. Peters, M., Garnett, E. & Edwards, G. (2010), Parental Opinion Survey 2010, London, Department for Education.
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