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The Youth Service parenting guidelines from the Ministry of Social Development.

The Youth Service parenting guidelines from the Ministry of Social Development help ensure that parenting programmes are valuable to participants, and meet good criteria. This group programme has been designed to meet the guidelines.

Approved parenting programmes should:

  • generally comprise 10–12 hours of learning and be delivered in a modular fashion (typically 5–6 modules)
  • be completed within a 3-month period, to allow WINZ clients to achieve their incentive payment
  • provide the client with a certificate of completion
  • have a formal course evaluation completed by each client at the end of the course
  • have no more than 15 participants per instructor.

Modules should cover topics such as:

  • Reading babies’ cues:
    • the first step in a great relationship with a child is understanding what their cries, gurgles and gestures mean, and responding positively.
  • Child development:
    • what to expect at each age and stage
    • sensory learning
    • age-appropriate activities.
  • Brain development:
    • the importance of the first 3 years
    • attachment as a mechanism for developing neural pathways
    • the differences between the teen brain and the infant brain
    • conscious parenting – considering what sort of parents we want to be.
  • Managing behaviour:
    • coping with crying
    • dealing with tantrums
    • understanding the difference between discipline and punishment.
  • Keeping children safe:
    • preventing child abuse and neglect
    • promoting safe, secure attachments
    • providing a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
  • Managing stress
    • Developing strategies for keeping calm
    • Having realistic expectations
    • Coping with the round-the-clock demands of parenthood
  • The importance of play:
    • essential to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical wellbeing and development of children.