Community Learning and Development Managers Scotland

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Getting parents involved in children’s learning

Getting parents involved in children’s learning

PEEP programme, Maybole

Led by: South Ayrshire Council CLD service


The CLD team in the Ayrshire town of Maybole, working with local health services and other learning community partners, are just one of many that have put into practice an approach, long-established nationally, to helping parents of very young children to learn how to provide more everyday learning opportunities.  They systematically gather feedback which demonstrates that the children are learning and the parents gaining in confidence. This is backed by research evidence from the national programme that shows major benefits for both children and parents.


Maybole is a small town in South Ayrshire, with a population of approximately 4,759[1].  The council’s CLD service has a team based there, working in the town and surrounding villages of North Carrick. They deliver programmes supporting vulnerable parents.    Along with partners they also identified the need for a universal programme for parents, to encourage them to interact in a positive way with their child.

CLD staff decided to investigate the use of an established approach called PEEP (Parents Early Education Partnership). It was originally developed and piloted in Oxford, and they saw it in action in Edinburgh. There are over 1,500 PEEP trained Practitioners in Scotland alone. It “recognises that parents and carers are children’s first and most important educators and aims to support adults to give their children a flying start in life”[2].

The PEEP Learning Together programme helps parents to support their babies’ and children’s language, reading, writing, numeracy and sense of self. It helps to build children’s and parents’ self-esteem and instil positive attitudes towards learning. The aim is to offer ideas, information and experiences that enable parents to make the most of everyday learning opportunities at home.

Actions taken

After initial training, CLD staff implemented the programme in the local community. Alongside wider publicity, the local Assistant Nurse Practitioner and Health Visitors gave parents information on the PEEP programme and asked permission to pass their names on to CLD staff. 

About 50% of those who gave permission participated. They were a mix of vulnerable and more able parents – staff found that this worked well. Teenagers and mothers aged 40+ mixed in the same groups. One or two fathers got involved, but 90% were mothers (or grandmothers).