The Lambeth site for A Better Start celebrated Fathers’ Day yesterday with special events for dads, male carers and their families. Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) hosted face painting, cake decorating and kite making at the Larkhall 1 o’clock club and the Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre.

With dads firmly in mind, LEAP is piloting a Family Foundations course for couples expecting their first baby together, helping them to build tools to parent together and support each other with the aim of improving parent and child wellbeing and children’s early social and emotional development.

The A Better Start programme in Blackpool has also been focusing on the role of Dads, preparing for the September launch of the Fathers Read Every Day programme (FRED) for local dads and their children aged 0-3 in local libraries.

The scheme is a partnership between local dads, A Better Start, Blackpool Council’s Libraries Service and the Blackpool Illumination’s Lightworks Team and aims to improve reading spaces for young children in local libraries, as well as making sure dads are included in the design of those spaces. Dads have even been helping to build some of the new pieces of art! The library service has also put on special story sessions in the library to encourage dads to join in.

A Better Start is a £215 million investment by the Big Lottery Fund, launched in October 2012 to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable babies and children in England. The five local area partnerships are located within: Bradford; Blackpool; Lambeth; Nottingham; and Southend on Sea.

The three key developmental outcome areas for the A Better Start programme are: diet and nutrition; communication and language; and social and emotional development.