The research shows that parental involvement in children’s learning is a key factor in improving children’s academic attainment and achievements, as well as their overall behaviour and attendance.

The role of parents during a child’s earliest years is the single biggest influence on their development. Good quality home learning contributes more to children’s intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income. 

A parent’s attitudes, aspirations and behaviour are all important, as is their ability to:

  • understand their child’s day-to-day progress
  • undertake family learning together
  • talk regularly with their child about their learning. 

For some parents, developing this confidence can be difficult - especially if they also need help with their own literacy, language and numeracy skills.

Advantages of family learning

Learning as a family can bring significant benefits for adults and the children in their care. It can:

  • enhance their ability to support the child’s education
  • help create a culture of learning
  • help improve their own skills and confidence
  • help them to understand how to support the development of the child’s skills.

Book gifting programme

Parents and the home learning environment they provide can help foster a love of reading, stories and books. 

The Department for Education funds the charity Booktrust to provide children with free books at crucial moments in their life. The book gifts are delivered through children’s centres, schools and health and library services. The book gifting programme includes universal gifts for all children, Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up. It also includes targeted gifts to support families and children for whom books, and reading for pleasure, may still be less a part of everyday life.