For parents, looking after their children involves an enormous commitment, emotionally, practically and financially. They need support from society in terms of services and progressive legislation.

Families come in all shapes and sizes – mums and dads who don’t live under the same roof, families where one or both parents have had children with previous partners, families where grandparents are fully involved day-to-day, and families where the parents are both women or both men. Parents needs access to family services, as well as relevant advice about benefits, employment rights, childcare, and so on.

NCT has produced reports, briefings and articles on these issues.

Working it out: new parents’ experiences of returning to work (2015)
Shared Parental Leave: new rights for working parents
(2015)
Shared parental leave (2013)
Making services for new parents the best they can be (2012)
Extended paternity leave: understanding the new legislation (2011)
Parents in the front line of legislative change (2011)

NCT’s senior policy advisers look at how NCT’s 2010-2020 strategy can reach parents and influence policy. They emphasise the importance for parents of continuity of carers, good communication, community-based services, and coordination of care.

NCT welcomes government plans to introduce shared parental leave and extend flexible working rights to all employees, with some caveats.