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Who are Parent Champions?

Parent Champions are parent volunteers who give a few hours a week to talk to other parents about the local services available to families. Coram Family and Childcare developed the Parent Champions programme in 2007 to help marginalised or isolated parents who miss out on vital information about how to access local family services.

The Parent Champions model is delivered by parents for parents, with the support of a local authority, children’s centre, school or local community organisation.

Impact of the Parent Champions programme

For over a decade, the Parent Champions programme has transformed the lives of families across the UK as well as the lives of Parent Champions volunteers.

Last year, Parent Champions supported over 20,000 parents. 6,500 two-year-olds took up a free childcare place thanks to the help of a Parent Champion.

Benefits for volunteers

  • Builds volunteers’ confidence and transferable skills

  • Creates a pathway to training and employment

  • Provides opportunities for volunteers to give back to their communities

Become a volunteer

Benefits for families

  • Raises parents’ awareness of early years education, childcare and local family services, improving their children’s outcomes

  • Increases access to free early education for two, three and four-year-olds

  • Brings families into children’s centres and other community settings

  • Allows families to be involved in the development of local services

  • Works to support minority groups and their engagement with services

Benefits for local authorities

Parent Champions schemes can be delivered by your Family Information Service or Early Years team directly, or through a delivery partner, such as a children’s centre or community organisation.

  • Enhances the quality and capacity of your outreach work
  • Helps you engage with isolated or ‘hard to reach’ parents
  • Increases the uptake of vital family services in your community, particularly free early education for two, three and four-year-olds

Parent Champions have helped local authorities meet a wide range of duties, including:

  • Improve the wellbeing of young children in your area and reduce inequalities between young children by focusing on children most at risk of poor outcomes
  • Include parental representation on children’s centre advisory boards
  • Consult with parents about changes to or proposed closures of children’s centres or family services
  • Provide information, advice and assistance to parents
  • Inform eligible parents about free childcare places for two and three and four-year-olds

Launch a scheme

Benefits for early years professionals

All schools, children’s centres, and childcare settings know that valuing and working with parents improves outcomes for children. Parent Champions schemes can bridge the gap between you and your wider community.

  • Encourages take up of your childcare services, particularly free early education for two, three and four-year-olds
  • Engages with your local communities, particularly isolated or ‘hard to reach’ parents
  • Helps you understand and better meet the needs of your service’s parents
  • Encourages parents to participate in parent evenings, support meetings and the development of your services
  • Boost children’s educational attainment by encouraging learning in the home
  • Increases the uptake of additional services you may offer, such as after school clubs or ESOL classes

Launch a scheme

Become a Parent Champion

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Launch a Parent Champions scheme

Parent Champions kite

Already a member?

The Parent Champions National Network provides opportunities to share best-practice, gain a national profile, and use parents' voices to campaign and lobby for policy change.

Can't find a scheme near you?

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Wandsworth Parent Champions celebrate winning the award for outstanding contribution to the Parent Champion National Network

Parent Champions conference and awards

The Parent Champions conference is held every year to celebrate the achievements of Parent Champions and learn from their experiences.

The Parent Champions programme is supported by