What’s next? What to do if your child’s exam results aren’t what you hoped…

Exams are often stressful, but waiting on results and then dealing with the outcome can also be just as stressful for not only young people but parents too.

With that in mind, it is important to note that in the majority of instances children/ young people in Northern Ireland do pass their exams, so it is important not to be too concerned until you know the outcome. Last year, 81.1% of children doing GCSEs achieved A*-C grades. For A-Levels, 84.5% achieved at least a C grade.

It is important to take time to read the results document thoroughly. GCSE grades changed last year, and often the results papers are confusing. If you have any doubts about the results, ask a teacher or professional who is familiar with them to confirm.

If exams are considered quite important, how can parents prepare for results? How can they help their children if they do not get the results they want? Parents have the benefit of a wider depth of experience, parents can reassure a teenager who might struggle to see beyond the result itself and help them consider the many paths that might be an option e.g. return to school, college, apprenticeship, university, work etc.

Less positive results might mean that they are unable to continue on the path they had seen themselves on. They may no longer be able to attend the same school. They may be worried about losing touch with friends, falling behind or being seen as a “failure”. It is important that parents provide them with emotional comfort right away after getting results that they feel are disappointing.

Parents can be an important emotional support for a young person who is unsure of how to react to bad news. BBC Newsbeat suggests a number of ways to handle poor results for young people, many of which can be applied equally to parents:

Find someone to talk to. This may be you as a parent, but be open to the chance that they will want to talk to someone more “neutral”;

Ignore the “noise”. When you get your results, open them in private and do not immediately compare yourself to your friends. Remember that each teenager is an individual, and what is “good” or “bad” for them varies. As such, a happy or unhappy child did not necessarily do “better” or “worse” than your own;

“Move On” it is important for young people to understand that while exams feel very final, life does indeed go on;

Be careful sharing the news. Only do so with people you know will be supportive, as anyone else may impact your teenager’s mental health.

The best time to discuss the future is when you have both had reasonable time to digest the implications. Once that is the case, you can sit down with your teenager and whoever else you might find helpful to plan. Keep in mind that it may be useful for both you and your teenager to seek out advice about next steps. This might be together, and it may be better apart. There are a number of organisations or people who can provide support;

*        The Schools careers advisory service, if they are available;
*         The Careers Service (available here);
*         A trusted friend;
*         A community worker;
       The Apprenticeships service (available here);
       Your local regional college.

In conclusion, it is important for parents to:

*        Remain calm in the event of disappointing results;
*        Reassure young people as they process the meaning of their results;
*        Give context and perspective about what it means for the future;
*        Provide help and support in a new path.

You can listen to our podcast episode on this topic or download the full article below.

Read the full report

Click here to download the What's Next? Article and find out more about the research around young people and exam results. Our Support Line is also available on 0808 8010 722.

“I’m Bored!” – Parents’ Guide to Beating Summer Boredom

“I’m bored” – most parents will be well acquainted with this phrase, particularly over the summer months. Summer holidays can be stressful and even more so when you feel the need to come up with more activities to entertain the kids. This article will give tips, tricks and advice for dealing with summer boredom. You can also download the full article to find out more about the science of boredom and whether it can be a good thing for children.

Dealing with boredom

It’s good to offer children the chance for unstructured play and letting them figure out what they want to do, but it can also be good to assist them from time to time. We recently asked parents on our social media for ideas of what to do to tackle children’s summer boredom:

Rainy Day/Sunny Day Boxes

Nothing is more frustrating – and boring – for a child than an otherwise perfect day to play outside being ruined by poor weather. Unfortunately, in Northern Ireland we are well aware of how an unhelpful climate can put paid to best laid plans!

A “Rainy Day/Sunny Day” box is one way to beat the weather. Additionally, it is an opportunity for you and your child to spend time being creative together. Simply sit down together, and come up with a list of ideas of what do to on a:

  • Sunny day: Play outside, make a den/fort, go for a walk or cycle
  • Rainy day: Play a board game, scavenger hunts inside, baking/cooking together

Try to come up with as long a list as possible. These don’t have to be expensive – try to make use of whatever you already have. Then, when your child is bored, take out the list that corresponds to the day and let them choose something to do together.

Geocaching

If you and your family are the outdoorsy type, you might enjoy geocaching. Geocaches are small supplies that are hidden across the world, including here in Northern Ireland. Geocachers hide them, and then mark them websites or apps for others to find. Any device that can make use of GPS – including most smart phones – can be used to locate them.

When your intrepid little explorers find a cache, there will be a small logbook. They should write their names, the time and date when they found it in the book. They may also get a kick out of reading the rest of the book. Is this a cache that is well-known? Do they recognise any of the names? Are they the first to find this one? Some caches also include little containers that have toys or trinkets to take away with you. Make sure that you bring something to replace it – perhaps a pretty stone or seashell.

Geocaching sites are scattered across Northern Ireland –and you are unlikely to be too far away from one. Some of the more populated ones are Divis/Black Mountain, Castle Ward and Florence Court in Fermanagh.

“What’s on?”

Did you know that all 11 local councils in Northern Ireland put on events for families throughout the year? Many of these events are free and most don’t even require you to buy a ticket. These events range from family fun days, free play performances, musical performances and much more.

To find these, simply search your local council area and “What’s On”. Alternatively, click the links below:

Is being bored a bad thing? 

Being bored is a natural phenomenon as it would appear that it serves no purpose. However, there is some scientific evidence to suggest may not be all bad. If you are interested in finding out more about how boredom can be good for children have a read of the full article

You can also listen to our accompanying podcast episode now on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Spotify

Parenting NI Launch Big Parenting Survey 2019

Last year Parenting NI launched their Big Parenting Survey, a first of it’s kind study into the realities of parenting in Northern Ireland.  The 2018 survey had over 1,000 responses from parents, providing valuable insights about the struggles, hopes and successes of parents from every end of the community. 

The charity have used the findings from the previous year to influence the focus of the 2019 survey, which will explore the role and influence of technology on parenting. Chris Eisenstadt, Policy and Research Officer at Parenting NI said,

“Parents told us in last year’s survey that technology was the biggest challenge they faced, with social media being the second. Parents also felt confused, left behind and worried about the impact of technology. We also heard stories of technology being a help and useful resource for parents, therefore for this year’s survey we wanted to take a closer look into parent’s views on technology in addition to their parenting experiences generally.” 

The 2019 Big Parenting Survey was launched today at Belfast City Hall by Alliance Belfast City Councillor and Parent Champion, Sian Mullholland. Sian encouraged parents to take part and highlighted how important it is for parents to share their views,

“I am delighted to help launch this year’s Big Parenting Survey. As a parent, I know firsthand that this a fantastic vehicle to have your voice and opinions heard on topics that really matter to parents and families. As someone who works in the field of youth work and child protection, I’m only too aware that technology and keeping children safe online is a huge worry and priority for parents.

The Big Parenting Survey will help to identify the needs of parents to ensure they’re kept as up to date as possible with tools and techniques to keep their children safe in a world of technology that is constantly changing and evolving.”

This year Parenting NI celebrate their 40th Anniversary, the charity has been supporting parents in Northern Ireland since 1979 and over the years has become the trusted voice of parents. An important part of advocating for parents is listening to their needs and concerns, therefore Parenting NI are encouraging as many parents as possible to take part in order to gain an understanding of a wide range of parenting experiences. Parents can participate in the survey online via this link: https://bps2019.questionpro.com.

 

 

Active Dads: Parents Article on Dads & Exercise

Fathers play an important role in the lives of their children. Children who have supportive, close and positive relationships with their fathers do better mentally, academically and physically in life. In addition, studies have shown that children whose fathers embrace being a parent confidently have lower levels of behavioural issues as teenagers. Despite this, many fathers struggle with practical actions that they can take to have a constructive impact on their children.

One key area that fathers have been shown to have a particular role to play is physical activity. Parental levels of activity in general and supportive attitudes are important indicators of how active a child is. The most important single factor, however, is paternal activity levels. In other words, having a physically active father makes kids more likely to be active too.

Research has found:

  • a consistent relationship between the child’s activity level and the father’s activity level
  • results were the same irrespective of age or weight
  • children are twice as likely to be active if their mother was, but three and a half times more likely if their father is
  • dad’s physical activity had a bigger impact on girls than boys
  • children who have one parent who is supportive of physical activity are more likely to continue being active, and even more likely if both parents are

How do I do it?

The easiest and potentially most rewarding way to encourage physical activity in your children as a father is to include them where possible in the activities you do. The NHS has a helpful guide for how much physical activity is suitable for children of various ages:

  • Babies should be encouraged to active throughout the day e.g. When they begin to crawl, stimulating play is good;
  • Toddlers who are able to walk unaided should be active for around 3 hours a day. Active play, such as at a play park, ball games or skipping is suitable;
  • As children get older, from age 5 until 18, it is recommended that they are active for at least 60 minutes a day. This should be moderate to vigorous activity such as sports, running or other exercise.

Click here to read the full report. 

Dads ‘Take the Time’ for Wellbeing at Derry Residential


A group of 21 dads attended the Dads Project residential, with speakers Conor McCafferty and Glenn Hinds. 

The Dads Project hosted a residential for separated fathers in St Columb’s Park House, Derry over the weekend.

A group of over 20 dads from across Northern Ireland attended a weekend of activities which focused on father’s wellbeing ahead of Men’s Health Week. Men’s Health Week runs from 10th June to 16th June with the theme ‘Make the Time. Take the Time.’

The Dads Project, which local charity Parenting NI lead with thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, organised the event to offer men an opportunity to not only access emotional support but also to get together and enjoy a range of talks and activities.

The dads were actively involved in planning and putting on activities across the weekend, with Cuthy Diamond leading some exercise between sessions and Gary Nash performing music in the evening.

Cahir Murray, the Dads Project Coordinator, said,

“It was wonderful to be able to gather together over the weekend and give the men space to explore the positives of being a dad in Northern Ireland’s society. We wanted to help dads build up their understanding of their value and the important role they have as fathers.

Over the course of the weekend we also took time to reflect on our wellbeing which many men struggle with. I hope that the dads have come away from the experience feeling better equipped to cope with the many challenges life throws at them whether they live with their children or not.”

In an effort to further highlight positive images of fathers, the Dads Project also have a photo exhibition titled ‘Men as Dads’ in the Verbal Arts Centre. Local photographer Mura McKinney took on the project to help celebrate dads as positive role models and the unique contribution they make to their children’s lives. The exhibition runs from Monday 10th June until Wednesday 19th June.

Parenting NI would like to thank People Plus and SDC Contractors for their support in making the weekend possible. To find out more about the Dads Project and how to get involved visit the webpage

World Children’s Day Celebration

On World Children’s Day – Wednesday 20th November – the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, will host a day of celebration at W5 Belfast to mark the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

NICCY aims to bring 1,500 children and young people of ALL ages together for a CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SUMMIT on this important day. It will be a mixture of child rights focussed activities and fun, with participants being able to explore the 250 interactive exhibits in W5’s four exhibition areas, including the:

  • Spacebase;
  • Climbit;
  • Go;
  • See/Do; and
  • MED-Lab exhibits.

For administrative and registration purposes, groups will be allocated an arrival time during the morning (from 9.30am) of 20th November and will be assigned specific times for specific activities.  Beyond these, groups are free to stay and experience W5 until closing time at 5pm. It is envisaged that each group could have a minimum stay of at least 4 hours at W5.

Entrance to the event is FREE!   NICCY also aim to make available a number travel bursaries.

Formal registration for the day will follow at later date along with further details on activities but please feel free to confirm an expression of interest by emailing participation@niccy.org with the following details:

  1. Group name:
  2. Group address:
  3. Contact name:
  4. Contact email address:
  5. Contact telephone number:
  6. Potential numbers and age group(s):

Confirming an expression of interest will ensure early notice of the formal registration process.

Parents and Exercise

Obesity and generally poor levels of physical fitness have been described as an “epidemic”. These can have severe, life limiting individual impacts. Unhealthy lifestyles cost the NHS around £5.1bn a year. Levels of obesity in children have been highlighted as a particular concern. Around 4.2% of children aged 10 to 11 in the UK are classified as obese. In Northern Ireland, as many as 40% of teens are overweight. We know that this is something that also worries parents – in the 2018 Big Parenting Survey, health was the second most important hope parents had for their children. Only happiness was more important, and they were often interlinked.

There are two major components to maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level. The first is diet, which is a complicated issue that presents a number of unique challenges. The second, is physical activity. Most parents understand that physical activity is important – but levels are reducing in young people. Less than two fifths of primary school children took part in an hour of daily physical activity, which is the level recommended by health professionals. Part of this decline is related to an increased use of technology, but it is not solely because of TV, phones and computers. Physical activity levels in children are linked to several influencing factors. 

Read the full article on the link below.

Read the full article

Download the article to read more about what research says about exercise.

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Reading with your Children

Reading to your children, particularly in the form of a bed-time story is one of the great joys of parenthood. 

Reading brings parents and children closer together, gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your child and can also be beneficial for your own mental wellbeing.

Finding time to read with your children can often be a challenge, as well as how to get the most out of reading. Parents often put pressure on themselves to spend long periods of time reading with their child. However, research suggests that even 10 minutes of reading a day can have a dramatic impact (BBC, 2013).

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity notes that it is never too early to start reading with your children. Even an unborn child can hear you after 18 weeks – and will recognise your voice. Reading to your infant in the early stages can help to build a strong, loving relationship with your child.

In addition, some parents are unsure if it is valuable to continue to read to children once they reach young primary age – around 7 years old. However, children themselves suggest that they would like reading to continue. A report in February 2018 found that only half of pre-school children were read to daily. Parents gave a range of reasons why this was the case – around a fifth said that they struggled to find the energy at the end of the day. Only 16% said that their children preferred to do other things (Flood, 2018).

A key question is, does it help them to learn? Does reading to your child help them to develop reading and language comprehension skills? A series of studies have been done with parents and children across the world to help determine what (if any) affect reading to your child has on their learning. The good news is, research which examined programmes to help promote books and reading to babies and young children demonstrate positive long-term effects on their development (Vanobbergen, 2009). In particular, children who are more familiar with books show improvements in reading, social skills, language development and other areas.

Another benefit of reading with your children is that it can reduce behavioural problems. A study by the New York University School of Medicine found that reading with children can reduce aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention (Mendelsohn, 2018). One theory suggests that the reason for this is that children who are read to and engaged with are happier, and parents who read to their children enjoy this time. This helps to foster a positive relationship which has positive outcomes for mental health and behaviour.

Some studies have found that if parents are trying to improve their child’s own reading ability it may not be enough to just read to a child. Instead, a form of interaction that involves dialogue – children asking and being asked questions – has a more dramatic effect on their learning. It is important when reading to your child to name letters, make the sounds and otherwise encourage them to interact with the book or story. (Phillips et al. 2008). When reading to your child, answer the questions that they pose about the book. By doing so, you can help to teach them that print conveys information. Providing them with experiences of story-books helps to build a foundation that translates directly into a more formal reading situation (Saracho & Spodek, 2010).

These advantages can be particularly important for children who have reading difficulties, or who are behind in their learning. Children who had poor vocabulary in preschool showed improvement when they were introduced to new words and expressions via print and illustrations (Hargrave & Sénéchal, 2000). As with all reading, these improvements were reliant on active participation by the child in reading.

Some parents struggle because their children do not seek out, or do not seem to enjoy reading. Only about 55% of children said that they enjoy reading by age 15 (Clark, 2016). However, it is possible that at least part of the reason that some children do not enjoy reading because they find it difficult. Much higher percentages of children who are high-achieving at school say that they enjoy reading. Previous studies have outlined that early reading experiences, including shared reading with parents help promote stronger reading skills later in life.

PBS, the US public service broadcaster, gives three tips for parents seeking to encourage a reluctant reader:

* Hone in on your child’s interests. If you have an interest in sport, or a particular genre of material, choose reading experiences centred on those;

* Start small – pick easier to read, shorter reading experiences at first and build up to more substantial books;

* Practice “shared” reading. Make sure that you child is engaged and interested in the books you read together. Ask questions, and encourage them to ask about anything they do not understand.

It can be difficult to find the time and energy to read with your children. Especially if you are seeking to read in an engaged manner. However, the experts are clear that the benefits are dramatic. As with most parenting support, communication can be key to success. Talking to your children about the importance of reading, taking time to ensure that you are reading what they are interested in and modelling good behaviour by reading yourself are all useful in encouraging your child’s literary curiosity.

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More about Reading

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Working Mums: Balancing Being a Mother and Employee

65% of the working age population in Northern Ireland are women, with 39% of those employed part time. Almost an equal amount are economically “inactive” due to family/home commitments.

Some mothers choose not to work, or to work less hours while they are raising children. However, for many other women, they effectively have little or no choice. If they did not work, they would not be able to bring enough income to support their families.

Despite these realities, the truth is that many mothers worry about the impact of their employment on their children. They are concerned that they might miss out on important developmental milestones or feel guilty that they are “putting work ahead of family”.

In 1984, 49% agreed with the statement: “A man’s job is to earn money; a woman’s job is to look after the home and family”. In 2017, just 8% of respondents agreed.

Although this suggests that society has begun to see working mothers as "the norm", many of the structural barriers continue to exist. Mums have the double pressure of managing a career and the home and family. Research shows that the majority of childcare and housework is still undertaken by women. 

Is it good for me?

Mothers will naturally worry most about the effects their work will have on their children first. However, it is important that they also consider the impact of going back to work will have on themselves. Parents who are stressed often find it more difficult to parent effectively, and being a working mother is likely to cause stress.

Some women will be very keen to return to a career they are passionate about. Others will be less enthusiastic about going back to full time work. A study in the United States looked at the impact on mood and happiness working had on mothers. It found that both positive and negative impacts are possible. Women who went back to work often felt more accomplished and self-confident, but also more stressed. The source of this stress was found to be juggling being a mother and an employee. Additionally, the researchers suggested that these stresses may be more heightened for mothers than for fathers, because they found women were more likely to process their role as a mother and an employee at the same time. Fathers on the other hand tended to deal with these roles one at a time. This is at least partially because mothers are more likely to be called in the event of a family problem – such as a sick child.

The Working Mother Research Institute conducted a survey in 2015 of working mothers asking how they felt. They found some unsurprising findings – that mothers that make less money are less satisfied for example. They also found that mothers tend to de-prioritise self-care when there are high levels of stress between work and home life. The biggest single contributing factor to satisfaction for working mothers was flexible working.

This conclusion was supported by a survey of mid-career working mothers in Ireland. They found that family structure and parenting responsibilities were central to predicting levels of stress. The more support working mothers had, the less likely it was for them to experience burnout. They also described the centrality of flexible working, and divided it into two forms:

Is it good for children to have a working mum?

Some older studies note there may be negative impacts. A 2010 Australian study noted that there was a link between mothers working longer hours and children watching more television. In turn, this led to increased weight gain in children and decreased exercise. The study found that women working longer hours had less direct supervision of their children and therefore often felt uncomfortable letting their children play outdoors, leading to more time watching TV.  Additionally, less time to cook meals caused an increase in the amount of “junk” food consumed.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) in 2001 found that when mothers returned to full-time work before their child was 5 years old, risks of lower outcomes for their children increased. They suggested such children had lower educational attainment and more unemployment. The reason suggested in this report for these outcomes was that mothers would have less time for direct interaction with their children during these crucial periods.

However, the report also notes that there significantly less negative outcomes for mothers who work part time as opposed to full-time. Additionally, it suggested that when women work, it increases the household income which is likely to have positive impacts on children that were not measured in the report. Given the deleterious effects poverty has on families and children, it was proposed that any negative impacts of working could be outweighed by a mother’s work avoiding financial strain in later life.

The positives...

A 2016 LSA and the University of Oxford study found that children whose mothers worked had better social and “everyday” skills. These results included children who were considered to be “very young”. They found that where mothers (and fathers) were active and engaged in their parenting, children’s outcomes improved. Therefore, it can be suggested that a mother working is not necessarily negative for even young children. Rather, it can be positive provided that mothers are careful not to allow work to interfere with having an engaged parenting style.

A more recent study, conducted in 2018 looked at the positives for children of having a working mother. This extensive report looked at the impacts across a very large number of countries including the UK, France, Finland and the USA. Overall, it found a positive link particularly between daughters of mothers who worked and:

Higher levels of employment

Higher pay in employment

More supervisory
roles

They also found that sons of working mothers had significantly more egalitarian gender attitudes, and were more supportive of women’s engagement in the labour market. They also shared responsibilities better in household work. While girls were more likely to benefit, boys did not experience any negative impact from having a working mother.

Many mothers are concerned not only about the later outcomes of their children, but their emotional wellbeing as well. The feeling of guilt associated with working and missing time with children, particularly younger children is a major motivating factor of many mothers seeking to leave employment. However, a report by Harvard Business school found that children of working mothers are just as happy as adults as those whose mothers did not work.

A study in 2014 by the University of Wollongong in Australia found that children whose mothers worked more than 35 hours a week were more likely to pursue higher education as well. Unlike the earlier report by the JRF, this report focused on teenage children. It found that teens whose mothers worked full time were also less likely to leave school at 16.

“Formal” flexibility

E.g. flexi-time, part time working or contractual arrangements allowing mothers to predict when they would be able to take more/less parental responsibilities.

“Informal” flexibility

This referred to employers being more or less willing to allow for sudden changes in circumstances (like a child needing to come home early from school).

Both types of flexibility were considered helpful, but whereas mothers felt they should be entitled to formal flexibility, they felt they needed to earn informal flexibility. Either way, it is clear that the more flexible the working pattern, the better outcomes for working mothers would be. As such, when a mother is considering returning to work, she should seek out flexible working patterns if at all possible. The good news is that the law in the UK provides the right to ask for flexible working as long as you:

Are an employee, but not an agency worker (other than those returning from a period of parental leave) or in the armed forces;

Have worked for your employer for 26 weeks continuously before applying;

Have not made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months.

If you meet their criteria, your employer must legally consider your request seriously, and only reject it if there are good business reasons for doing so.

Striking a balance

It is clear that there are potential negatives and positives relating to being a working mother. It is inevitable that lower levels of supervision provide more opportunities for undesirable behaviour. However, the positives are significant – especially for daughters and for women themselves. Mothers who are already working should not feel guilty, and can reduce stress on themselves by considering any possibilities for flexible working. The best way to safeguard against any negative outcomes, will still enjoying the benefits of the positive aspects is to ensure that your parenting is not affected. If a working mother is careful to continue to parent in an engaged and active manner, there are few meaningful negative consequences to working.

The good news for mothers is that the evidence suggests that working or not working is not determinative. Research suggests that both can have positives or negatives, and that those negatives are not set in stone. Therefore, women should feel empowered to do what they feel is right for their children, their families and themselves. If they choose to stay at home, or to return to work, they should not feel guilt or fear about the impact it will have on their children. Instead, they should simply be aware of the realities and adjust their choices accordingly.

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Parenting NI Statement Regarding the Regional Parenting Helpline

Earlier in the year, Parenting NI was extremely saddened to learn that we would lose the funding for the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) Regional Parenting Helpline contract (which includes Face to Face Support). Parenting NI identified the need for a parents helpline in 1979 and have been providing the service ever since. Now in our 40th year of delivering the service this news was devastating.

The good news for parents is however that the service is being continued. Children in Northern Ireland, the regional umbrella organisation for the children’s sector will be delivering the Regional Parenting Support Helpline from 1st April onwards.

Whilst the loss of funding to provide this service is extremely disappointing, it is by no means the end for Parenting NI. We are passionate about supporting parents and will continue on our mission to provide a range of accessible services and support to meet the needs of those in a parenting role across Northern Ireland.

We are pleased to confirm that from 1st April we will continue to provide a freephone support service for parents (on the same number 0808 8010 722) as an access point to our range of services. We will also continue to deliver our range of parenting programmes, family support services and regional projects including the Dads Project and Families Together. Parenting NI also continues to lead the way in consulting with parents to ensure their parents’ voices are heard at every level in order to influence policy, planning and service delivery. We are also very excited about expanding our range of resources for parents, particularly in terms of online and digital platforms as we continue to develop of Parenting Support App.

Parenting NI will continue to work with partners in order to deliver real diversity and choice for parents when it comes to what support they need. We will also continue to work in partnership with statutory and other sectors to promote engagement with parents and build on our range of accredited and non-accredited training and workshops for professionals working with parents. 

We hope to make this transition as smooth as possible for service users. From the 1st April freephone support will be available on 0808 8010 722 Monday to Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.

We would like to thank you all for your continued support of the work of Parenting NI. We look forward to continuing to support parents and making our vision of a future where parenting is highly valued a reality in Northern Ireland.