Health and beauty retailer Boots has teamed up with the Government in a £5m scheme to supply mums and dads with £100 vouchers to attend parenting classes.
From today Boots will distribute the vouchers which entitle parents to up to 10 two-hour sessions on how to raise children aged under five.
The Prime Minister hopes that partship with the high street retailer will make the classes more acceptable to the public, according to the Daily Mail. The classes have been introduced since the English riots last year, which were blamed on a breakdown in family discipline.
The scheme will be launched in three test areas – Middlesbrough, Camden in London and High Peak in North Devonshire - where the vouchers can be redeemed at independent organisations such as the National Childbirth Trust, Netmums.com and Parentgym.
Parents will be taught how to discipline their children as well as giving them the right diet, exercise, coping with family rows, good manners, bullying, reading bedtime stories and preparing children for school.
Boots will not be paid for its involvement in the scheme, although it is expected to benefit from increased footfall to the stores.
A Downing Street official said: “We want parenting classes to become as normal as attending an ante-natal class, as huge numbers of couples already do.
“We are using Boots to hand out the vouchers because it Is all part if the process of making it a normal respectable experience. If we asked people to queue up at their social security offices to get them, no-one would be interested,
“Going to Boots is a world apart from going to the DSS office.
“Parents could pick up a voucher over the counter when they buy their toothpaste.”
* Boots is likely to come under fire this week as it posts annual results because parent Alliance Boots has avoided paying £500m tax since it was taken private five years ago.
The health and beauty is based in Switzerland and is understood to have paid £59m in corporation tax last year, whcih is around a third of the rate of tax paid by similar retailers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer.