NCT offers information on supporting new parents including exercise after birth and returning to work.

Many parents have no extended family or friends who have recent experience of babycare living close by, so support from professionals and from local support networks for new parents is vital.

NCT research networker Hilary Ficken came up with an active alternative to the usual coffee and cakes Bumps and Babies groups. Here she explains why her walking group became such a success.

There is growing recognition that early interventions can work to stop problems escalating and benefit not only the individual but the family and wider society.

Working with parents beyond the early months looks at a new NCT support initiative.

Practitioners often encounter parents who are experiencing considerable stress or even a major life crisis. How can NCT support parents in distress? discusses how to provide consistent and effective help.

NCT shows how it extends its reach to parents who have learning disabilities and how to help them parent well, who are deaf or who live in areas of high deprivation. Also what it is like having a baby as a lone mother in Going it alone or as a teenage parent.

Articles here include supporting women to return to work, supporting women to exercise and high quality support for parents with a new baby. Postnatal leader Catherine Neil describes the multi-agency project she set up to offer much-needed support to parents of premature babies. NCT networks - enabling parents to support each other looks at ways of encouraging peer support through friends made in antenatal courses and through branch activities. 

The Growing Up in Scotland cohort study shows evidence of how parents in Scotland use and access support and information.

Government and professional body publications. 

UK

MP Frank Field’s report The foundation years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults published December 2010 was commission by the Prime Minister to address child poverty. It details the strategy to meet the government’s targets in abolishing child poverty and is simultaneously a policy for social mobility, with the aim that today’s poor children can gain the skills to achieve high paid jobs

England

The Healthy Child Programme: pregnancy and the first five years of life published in 2009 focuses on a universal preventative service in the early years, providing families with a programme of screening, immunisation, health and development reviews, supplemented by advice around health, wellbeing and parenting. This guidance supersedes and replaces the Child Health Promotion Programme (CHPP) published in 2008. It is an update of Standard One (incorporating Standard Two) of the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (2004).

The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young  People’s Services produced a key publication in 2010. Grasping the nettle: early intervention for children, families and communities discusses the challenges and opportunities in supporting children, families and communities through early intervention based on effective national and international practice.The full document and an executive summary are available from the c4oe website

Scotland

Getting it right for every child (2009) is a national approach to supporting and working with all children and young people in Scotland. Getting it right for every child affects all services for children and adult services where children are involved. It is a positive shift in culture, systems and practice across services for children, young people and adults. The approach is based on research, evidence and best practice and designed to ensure all parents, carers and professionals work effectively together to give children and young people the best start and improve their life opportunities.