Think tank pushes for more support

The government’s failure to provide adequate levels of support for
parents during pregnancy and children’s first year is undermining
financial initiatives to tackle childhood inequalities, an
influential think tank has warned.

A report from the left of centre Institute for Public Policy
Research states that government measures such as the baby tax
credit and child tax credit are being undermined by ministers’
failures to provide support to parents with young children.

“Fearful of being branded as a ‘nanny state’, Labour has been too
cautious on family policy,” said study author Lisa Harker.
Co-author Liz Kendall said most parenting programmes were for – and
associated with -Êparents of children with behavioural

In order to improve support levels, the report recommends that
health visitors and midwives take on a more holistic approach,
moving away from purely monitoring children’s health into providing
social and emotional support to parents. It also recommends the
creation of a home visitor service providing parents with an “on
your side” advocate.

– An Equal Start? from the IPPR on 0845 458 9910.

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