Engaging fathers in their children’s learning

Recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Sure Start Centre in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, a centre funded by the (DfE) and run by a leading children’s charity, Action for Children. The Sure Start programme is targeted at parents and children in the most disadvantaged areas and delivers a wide variety of services designed to support children’s learning, health and wellbeing, as well as their social and emotional development.

This visit was part of their activities on a two day trip to Northern Ireland, where they have focused on child development. The Duke of Cambridge has recently been linked to another great child development initiative, Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED). This reading-for-pleasure programme has been piloted in UK schools, after a successful development in the US and is an effective and sustainable intervention to get dads reading to their children. It involves fathers reading to their children 15 minutes a day for two weeks, then 30 minutes a day for another two weeks.

Evidence suggests that fathers being involved in their children’s early education, improves outcomes for children and has a significant impact on their attainment and future aspiration. Fathers having high levels of interest in his child’s education is associated with better exam results, higher qualifications gained, greater progress at school and better behaviour. The numbers of fathers involved in the life of early years settings or schools, both in terms of learning and governance, are increased when the setting or school is proactive in its approach to engage fathers in this area.

The FRED programme runs training programmes for schools, early years settings, libraries and other relevant organisations which help prepare them for delivery of the initiative as well as training on how to reach out to and engage effectively with fathers. CACHE supports the FRED initiative and encourages all fathers to get involved in their children’s learning.

We offer the CACHE Level 3 Unit Engage Fathers in Their Children’s Early Learning (Y/502/4663/UNITCACHE), which links in well with the FRED programme and is available as a standalone unit or within a qualification. This unit aims to enable the learner to gain the understanding and ability to work with fathers to engage them in their children’s early learning. Other related units include Work in Partnership with Parents to Engage Them with Their Children’s Learning and Development in School and Engage Young Parents in Supporting Their Children’s Development.

Find out more about this unit on QualHub.