Parenting groups, prehaps understandably, keep coming up in our research as good examples of early intervention in a child’s early years. We have yet to see rigorous evaluation of the long-term impact on the child, but there are useful studies that evaluate the positive outcomes on the parent and family unit. Family Links talked to us recently about their programme evaluation.

I came across the Baby College, run by the Harlem Children’s Zone. It stood out because it used a familiar ‘going to college’  framework in which to deliver some pretty unfamiliar training. Although disappointed this was not a college only for babies, I was impressed by the way a familiar and universal model had been used to reduce the risk of families feeling stigmatised and increase their desire to invest in the experience.

I have to be honest through, I was slightly disappointed it was not a college just for babies.

Often in service design it is useful to think about how a familiar format can be replicated to help people using a service understand what they should expect and how they should behave.

If you call a Parenting Course a ‘Parenting Course’, I feel like a failed parent admitting that I need help.

If you call a Parenting Course, a Baby College, I feel like I am investing in the future of my child and myself, I will graduate, get a pat on the back, and have something to talk about with my friends.