Free parenting classes and courses

Some councils and health boards in Scotland offer free parenting classes. We are not able to give details of all courses running in Scotland but have included the ones that we know of. There may be other free parenting courses that you can find out about through your local networks.

While striving to provide the best quality information possible, Parenting across Scotland does not recommend or endorse any particular programme, does not give advice about choice of classes and takes no responsibility for any service provided.

Aberdeen City parenting programmes

Aberdeen offers a range of support services for families, including parenting skills classes, confidence and assertiveness-building courses, and fun learning events for dads/male carers, mums/female carers or families together.

Download their Family Learning leaflet here (PDF)

Argyll and Bute parenting programmes

POPP (Psychology of Parenting Project)

We understand that parenting can sometimes be tough and you are not alone. We have the following PoPP Groups available in various areas throughout Argyll and Bute.  The purpose of the groups is to get together with other parents/carers and share experiences and work out strategies that will help you be the best you can be at what you do as a parent/carer.

These programmes are of different lengths and aim to help parents/carers strengthen their relationship with their child and support them with strategies to manage any challenging behaviours in a positive way. 

Incredible Years (3-6 year olds) – 14 week programme.

Triple P (3-6 year olds) – 8 week programme.

Triple P Discussion Groups (3-6 year olds) – These are one off two hourly sessions covering topics such as Dealing with Disobedience, Managing Fighting and Aggression, Hassle Free Shopping with Children and Developing Good Bedtime Routines.

If you would like to find out more please contact your Health Visitor, Nursery Staff, or PoPP direct at chsp.bute@nhs.net or call 01700 501544 or alternatively call Eileen MacKinnon, PoPP

Co-ordinator on 01546 870672 (Mon, Tues & Wed mornings – term time only).

Parenting - Today's Tots ... Tomorrow's Teens

The 4 Ts (Today's Tots ... Tomorrow's Teens) offer a practical way of helping you understand your child and communicate in a positive way. Group sessions are currently being held across Argyll and Bute. If you want to find out about a group in your area please contact Sheena Stewart on 01369 708517 or email: sheena.stewart@argyll-bute.gov.uk For more details download 4 Ts leaflet. (pdf 187KB)

Bookbug Sessions

Free story, song and rhyme sessions for babies, toddlers, pre-school children and their families. To find out about sessions in your area, call Linda Burgar on 01631 569192 or email: linda.burgar@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Play at Home

Parents of all new babies in Argyll and Bute will be offered these three books; the baby book will be delivered by their health visitor, the toddler book will be posted directly to the parent's home around the child's first bithday and the preschool book will be issued when the child enrols in nursery. For more information, contact Alison MacKenzie on 01369 708517 or email: earlyyears@argyll-bute.gov.uk

For more information for parents and carers, visit Argyll and Bute Early Years on Facebook (Argyll and Bute - Early Years).

Clackmannanshire parenting programmes

Clackmannanshire provide Incredible Years and Triple P courses for parents and carers. You can find out about courses by emailing parenting@clacks.gov.uk

Dundee City parenting programmes

Dundee City Council PEEP Groups

Promoting the role of parents and carers as their child’s first and most important educator. The PEEP programme focuses on how to make the most of learning opportunities in everyday life - listening, talking, playing and sharing books.

For up-to date-information about available groups, check the Dundee City 'Parenting' category of www.families.scot.

Dundee International Women's Centre

DIWC also provides free parenting and children classes.

East Dunbartonshire parenting programme

East Dunbartonshire offer Triple P: Positive Parenting Programme to parents and carers with children aged 0-12 yrs.

Contact: parenting@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

East Lothian parenting programmes

The council provides a 'Support from the Start' that all parents in East Lothian can access, including 'Raising Children/Teens with Confidence' courses.

Edinburgh parenting programmes

Parenting development worker contact details:

Parenting programmes:

  • Peep Learning Together Programme supports parents and carers of children aged 0-5 years, to value and build on the home learning environment and attachment relationships with their children, by making the most of everyday learning opportunities - listening, talking, playing, singing and sharing books and stories together.
  • The Incredible Years and Triple P are two programmes of different length that aim to help parents/carers strengthen their relationship with their child. They give parents/carers strategies to manage their child's behaviour. The programmes are for ages 3 to 4 years.
  • Raising Children with Confidence and Raising Teens with Confidence helps parents and carers learn about emotional well-being and the best way to promote it in themselves and their children. The course is available across Edinburgh and run in local nursery classes, primary and secondary schools and community venues.
  • Teen Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme) is for parents and carers of 11 - 16 year olds. Teen Triple P aims to help parents with some of the common issues and challenges of the teenage years.

Access information on all parenting groups and activities in Edinburgh here.

For more information email supportingparentsandcarers@edinburgh.gov.uk

Falkirk parenting programmes

Falkirk offers a range of parenting support for families.

  • Incredible Years: 14 week group programme, available for families with children aged 3 to 6.
  • Triple P: 8 week programme, available for families with children aged 3 to 11. Individual Triple P can be requested.
  • Teen Triple P: 8 week group programme, available for families with children aged 12 to 17. Individual Triple P can be requested.

If you are interested in attending a parenting programme please discuss this with your health visitor, nursery officer, teacher or social worker.

Other services in the Falkirk Council area offer programmes and sessions for parents including Mellow Parents, Early Bird, Play@Home, Five to Thrive and VIG.

For details about accessing these courses please contact Falkirk Families Information Service.

Glasgow parenting programmes

The Triple P parenting programme 

Glasgow City Council helps families deal with issues ranging from temper tantrums to disobedience, bedtime dramas to homework battles, bullying to teenage rebellion. Most groups have access to a free creche, although places are limited and need to be booked in advance.  

For more info contact the Central Parenting Team on 0141 277 7560 or email centralparentingteam@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Parenting Matters is offered in partnership with Parent Network Scotland. This course aims to support and help develop parents and carers relationships with their children, develop positive communication, linking feeling and needs, setting boundaries, and maintaining positive relationships.  The course also supports parents in looking after themselves and being the best parent they can be.

Please contact doreenh@pns.org.uk or lornam@pns.org.uk

Tel: 0141 353 5604

Inverclyde parenting programmes

Parenting Positively in Inverclyde is run by the charity Barnardo's Scotland and offers parents and carers a wide range of courses, from baby massage to handling teenage behaviour. For more info download the Parenting Positively leaflet (PDF).

Parenting Matters is offered in partnership with Parent Network Scotland. This course aims to support and help develop parents and carers relationships with their children, develop positive communication, linking feeling and needs, setting boundaries, and maintaining positive relationships.  The course also supports parents in looking after themselves and being the best parent they can be.

Please contact doreenh@pns.org.uk or lornam@pns.org.uk

Tel: 0141 353 5604

Midlothian parenting programmes

Parenting in Midlothian offers the following:

  • The Incredible Years: The internationally renowned trouble-shooting programme for parents of pre-school and primary school age children. 
  • Raising Children with Confidence: Promoting emotional health and well being, this course is for parents with children aged 0-12.
  • How to talk so kids will listen: Learn skills that make life with children easier and more satisfying.
  • Peep recognises that parents and carers are children’s first educators and aims to support adults and children to learn together. The Peep Learning Together programme aims to give children a flying start in life by encouraging a good home learning environment through building on what parents and carers already do every day. Peep groups are for all families with children from birth to four years and include songs, rhymes, sharing stories and a time to talk about children’s early learning and development. For more information, or to find your nearest group, contact the Early Years Peep Coordinator, at Midlothian Council, on 0131 271 3909 or email: sharyn.mckenzie@midlothian.gov.uk
  • Bookbug is the Scottish Book Trust's Early Years Programme and is for children, aged birth to 5, and their families. It encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books, rhymes and songs with their child from the day that they are born. For more information on Bookbug Sessions in Midlothian contact Midlothian Library on 0131 271 6668 or email: library.hq@midlothian.gov.uk

Parenting in Midlothian is a partnership between Midlothian Council, NHS Lothian, Midlothian Sure Start and Home Link Family Support

Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) parenting programmes

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Family Support workers offer a range of parenting support in your own home, including Triple P: Positive Parenting and Play@Home.

Visit their website for information

North Ayrshire parenting programmes

North Ayrshire offers parents a wide range of free opportunities and courses including:

  • Incredible Years: 14 week group programme, available for families with children aged 3-7.
  • Triple P: 8 week programme, available for families with
    children aged 3-7.
  • Peep workshops which provide an opportunity for mums, dads and carers with their children to experience activities to support children's learning in everyday situations, using listening, talking, playing, singing, sharing books and most importantly having fun!
  • Parenting Matters is offered in partnership with Parent Network Scotland. This course aims to support and develop parents and carers ability in: communication, setting boundaries, and maintaining positive relationships.
  • Solihull workshops are offered to give parents an introduction to the important brain development that happens in the first year of a child's life.
  • Family Link Workers based in our North Ayrshire Early Years Centres and they offer a wide range of activities including parent groups around walking, cooking, crochet and drop-in coffee mornings.

We will also be expanding our range of available programmes in the coming months to include:

  • Incredible Years Toddler Programme
  • Triple P Discussion Groups
  • Mellow Parenting

For more information contact our Early Years Parenting Coordinator, David Fernie on 01294 317209 or our team email parents@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can find out more information by visiting the North Ayrshire council website or by contacting CARIS on 0345 351 3000.

Perth and Kinross parenting programmes

Perth and Kinross Council provides courses for parents to help them manage their child's or teenager's behaviour, and many other sources of support for the early years:

You can contact the Parenting Team on 01738 477697 or email parenting@pkc.gov.uk

You can follow the team on Twitter or like them on Facebook to get regular updates

 

Renfrewshire parenting programmes

Parents with children age 3-6 can attend parenting groups if they are finding their child's behaviour difficult to manage. Incredible Years or Triple P programmes are offered through the Psychology of Parenting Project.

Further information: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RenfrewshirePoPP

Contact your health visitor or staff in the nursery or school your child attends to find out more.

Parenting Matters is offered in partnership with Parent Network Scotland. This course aims to support and help develop parents and carers relationships with their children, develop positive communication, linking feeling and needs, setting boundaries, and maintaining positive relationships.  The course also supports parents in looking after themselves and being the best parent they can be.

Please contact doreenh@pns.org.uk or lornam@pns.org.uk

Tel: 0141 353 5604

Scottish Borders parenting programme

Scottish Borders Council family support service offers group-work programmes for parents and children, including topics such as Basic Parenting, Managing Tantrums, Play and Learn, and Healthy Eating.

Further information is on Scottish Borders Council website

Shetland parenting programmes

Bookbug

The Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years programme for children aged birth to five, and their families.  Bookbug encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books, rhymes and songs with their child from the day they are born. For more information on Bookbug sessions in Shetland, contact Shetland Library on 01595 743864

Psychology of Parenting Project (PoPP)

Shetland Islands Council offers Incredible Years programmes free of charge for parents of 3-6 year old children.  This is a 14-week programme, and we can provide support with travel and childcare if required.  Further information is available by contacting Shetland Family Centre Services on 01595745400 or email: BruceFamilyCentre@shetland.gov.uk

Parent Link Shetland

A partnership between Voluntary Action Shetland and Parent Network Scotland set up to deliver parenting courses and one-to-one sessions to all parents and carers in Shetland 

Visit Parent Link Shetland’s webpages

Contact: Wendy Hand 01595 743902 or email parentlink@shetland.org

South Ayrshire parenting programmes

South Ayrshire Council helps parents, carers and children to learn and play together through PEEP (Parents Early Education Partnership). Contact your local nursery for information.

Bookbug sessions are also available at your local library: https://sayrshirelib.wordpress.com/bookbug-sessions/

Stirling parenting programmes

Stirling provide Incredible Years and Triple P courses for parents and carers of children aged 3-6 years. They will be offering Triple P for parents and carers of 7-11 years year olds from September 2018.

They also offer support groups for parents of children under the age of one, which cover a broad range of topics and skills, including baby massage.

You can find out about courses in your area by emailing parenting@stirling.gov.uk

West Dunbartonshire parenting programmes

West Dunbartonshire Parenting currently offers two different parenting groups aimed at parents of 3-6 years old (Incredible Years Programme) and parents of children 12-18 years old (Handling Teenage Behaviour Programme).

Incredible Years - Psychology of Parenting (PoPP)

West Dunbartonshire Parenting have adopted the PoPP Incredible Years Programme as a service offered to parents of children between 3-6 years with elevated behaviour problems. This is a 14 week programme consisting of weekly 2 hour group sessions delivered by trained practitioners. 

The programme aims to build on positive parenting and improve family support networks, covering practical topics for parents and children, including play, helping with learning, problem solving, and promoting effective family communication skills through listening and talking.

Handling Teenage Behaviour

The Handling Teenage Behaviour Programme aims at helping parents to manage their teenager’s behaviour difficulties more effectively. It is an 8 week programme consisting of weekly 2 hour group sessions delivered by trained practitioners. 

To access these programmes phone Colleen Wilson on 01389 828242 or email West Dunbartonshire Parenting.

Other services can also be accessed via West Dunbartonshire Libraries and West Dunbartonshire Health Visiting Teams.

There are also opportunities to access partnership agencies such as NSPCC, Cedar, Action for Children and Sleep Scotland.

For more information and contact details, download our Parenting Information Leaflet 

West Lothian parenting programmes

West Lothian offer a wide range of parenting support to parents/carers of children from pre-birth to 16 years, including parenting groups and programmes.

Find out more at Parenting West Lothian, as well as how to contact us and how to access the support you and your family need.

You may also want to check out…
  • Parent Network Scotland offers a wide range of courses for parents of pre-5 children, children at primary school and teenagers. Contact Parent Network Scotland on 0141 353 5604 or email lornam@pns.org.uk
  • Mellow Parenting has a variety of local parenting groups which are aimed at helping parents with young children have warm, trusting relationships. For information contact your health visitor or social worker.
  • Speakeasy by the Family Planning Association is available in various locations in Scotland. It is an informal way for parents to get the confidence they need to speak to their children about sexual health and relationships.