Local support for dads: what is there?
All of us feel out of our depth at times, and you may get to the point when you need advice, local support or just want some company and other parents to talk to! The good news is that there is more of this kind of help available for British dads than ever before. Here are some ideas of where you can get some support or just meet other parents...
Sure Start Children’s Centres offer parents access to integrated services and information. They are specifically committed to making them more father-inclusive.
They offer a variety of services, from antenatal education to baby weight in clinics. They may also offer groups or activities like Baby Massage, where you can access support and information, meet other parents, and spend time with your baby.
PLAYGROUPS OR BABY CLASSES
An easy way to meet other parents and to get your child playing with other children is to join a playgroup or do a baby/toddler class. Parents or childminders accompany children for sessions that can vary in length from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
There will usually be some kind of charge, depending on what kind of group or class it is. Playgroups are often informal in nature, while classes will have a structure and be led by a teacher.
There are a wide variety of groups and classes available, so if the first one you attend doesn’t float your boat, try another.
Most public libraries run weekly parent-child sessions in their children’s departments. This often involves choosing books, toys and tapes/CDs to borrow, after which everyone sits in a circle and the children’s librarian reads a children’s book, followed by a sing-song.
DAD SPECIFIC GROUPS/ACTIVITIES
Not every area will have a dad & child specific group or class, but more and more of these are springing up, so check out your local area to see if there is one. These are great for meeting other dads as well as having some one-to-one time with your little one.
Updated: Oct 2017