Annual General Meeting
This Annual General Meeting brought together old and new members to set out the APPG on Families in the Early Years' plans for the next year.
This meeting, run in collaboration with the APPG on Penal Reform, looked at the issue of prisoners and the relationships with their families. The session focused on:
- The maintenance of family ties and relationships during a period of incarceration
- The reintegration of family members following a prison spell and the impact on family cohesion
- The impact on children of parental absence and penal system experience
- Government support for families of prisoners during and after incarceration
Speakers included Neera Sharma from Barnardo’s, Professor Nancy Loucks from Families Outside, Kate Bulman from Oakhill Secure Training Centre Fatherhood Programme and a member from the Young Dads Collective.
Parents experience of returning to work
This meeting explored challenges for new parents returning to work, focusing particularly on maternity discrimination and shared parenting. Specifically, this session looked at:
- The current Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation into maternity discrimination
- The implications of discrimination and unequal patterns of care on gender gaps in pay, employment and career advancement
- The case for an independent right to paternity leave and incentivising fathers to take leave
- Potential government initiatives to combat pregnancy discrimination and support shared parenting
Speakers included Ros Bragg from Maternity Action and Jennifer Liston-Smith from My Family Care.
Annual General Meeting
The APPG for Parents and Families met for its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 26 October 2016. The key outcomes of the meeting were:
- Baroness Sharp stepped down from her role as secretary as she has retired from the House of Lords.
- All other officers retained their position.
- A forward plan was discussed for the upcoming year.
- It was decided that meetings would be held on a bi-monthly basis.
High quality childcare
This meeting examined the quality of early education and childcare across the UK and its significance in promoting children’s learning and development. The session specifically aimed to:
- Outline the importance of high quality childcare for children’s future development
- Assess the nature of the current early years workforce, including variations across the UK
- Identify barriers to delivering high quality early childhood education and care
- Discuss potential solutions and policy options
This meeting discussed the Family Test and its implementation across government since the test’s introduction in 2014. Specifically, this session looked at:
- The importance of high quality family relationships and the need to ensure that public policy supports family wellbeing regardless of family structure
- What the Family Test means for policy makers and Parliamentarians
- What can be done to ensure the success of the Family Test
- The usage of the Family Test across government departments