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PM to say I could’ve done with parenting advice

In a speech today, David Cameron is to say that he personally could have done with more advice on raising children


The Prime Minister is expected to encourage all parents to sign up for state-backed parenting classes to learn how to communicate, discipline and play with their children.

He will make a keynote speech in which he will say: “Is it right that all of us get so little guidance?

“What about later on, when it comes to good play, communication, behaviour and discipline?

“We all need more help with this – the most important job we’ll ever have.

“In the end, getting parenting and the early years right isn’t just about the hardest-to-reach families; it’s about everyone.”

Mr Cameron is expected to announce the relaunch of vouchers for parenting classes and that the Government will double funding for relationship counselling for troubled families.

A Downing Street source said the idea would be for parenting sessions to have the same popularity among the middle classes as National Childbirth Trust antenatal classes.

She added: “This will be separate to the previous CanParent pilots, but that work and what we learned from it will inform how we can reach more parents.”

Mothers suffering from post-natal depression and anorexic teenagers can also expect some extra support as part of a near £1 billion “revolution” in mental health care.

The mental health reforms have been recommended by NHS England’s independent task force.

Chief executive of charity Mind, Paul Farmer, said: “This is a significant moment for mental health and we are pleased to see the Prime Minister giving it the attention it deserves.

“Children and young people, pregnant women and new mums, and those in crisis urgently need better services and support.”

But the story could prove a little embarrassing for the Prime Minister after a family incident in 2012 meant one of his children was left behind.

Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha left their eight-year-old daughter in the pub following a Sunday lunch and a mix-up as to who was travelling with whom.

The PM, a father of three, only realised she was not with them when they got home.

He had to rush back to the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, where he found his daughter being looked after by staff.

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