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.  

For further information about the CANparent, please visit is an online service designed to support and encourage parents and carers of children aged 5-19, with a collection of videos addressing day-to-day questions and concerns spanning wellbeing, behaviour and learning.