Parental education is a valuable measure to support mothers and fathers in the everyday upbringing of their children. In parental education seminars, mothers and fathers can acquire knowledge about the respective development phase of their child or teenager, they can further develop their own partnership and strengthen the ability to talk to each other and they get to know and try out different ways of solving conflicts. Additionally, they become aware of their own strengths in their role as father/mother and further develop their personal style of upbringing, they learn to recognise possible problems early in order to be able to take advantage of suitable help and they inform themselves about the focuses within different phases of life.
Parental education is organised by various bodies, particularly non-profit organisations. Educational institutions, parent-child centres, family organisations, public providers and a multitude of private initiatives in the whole of the country offer series of events or individual events – in the evenings, during the daytime, at weekends as well as during the week.
Since the creation of the legal basis for the support of parental education from the Family Equalisation Fund in 2000, the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth has subsidised high-quality parental education projects. In this way, the amount of affordable parental education on offer has been significantly increased.
Targeted public relations work ensures that continuous use is made of the offers. As an extension of the campaign to raise awareness carried out in 2002, the website www.eltern-bildung.at is being continued. The site provides information about the significance of parental education and provides opportunities for exchanges with other parents and experts . In addition, weekly news items, monthly focuses and literature and link tips encourage further reading. But above all, mothers and fathers are motivated to take advantage of the large number of events on offer, which are shown in a topical event calendar.
Connected to these activities is a rapidly increasing need for parent educators, who should be trained and receive further training in both content and teaching methods according to the latest academic and scientific findings. The Ministry has commissioned experts from the field of parental education to draw up a curriculum for the training of parent educators. Training courses which are carried out according to the quality standards specified in the curriculum receive the stamp of quality “Training Courses for Parent Educators”. A certificate with the stamp of quality is positive proof of the abilities of comprehensively trained educators. For experienced parent educators, the certificate with the stamp of quality can be acquired as part of further training.
To make it possible to fulfil the often very different needs and approaches to education which different mothers and fathers might have, the Ministry publishes information for parents on violence-free upbringing both in printed and electronic versions. The aim of this information for parents is to contribute to an improvement of the quality of life and the quality of relationships between children and parents. It is published corresponding to the development phases of the child and special interest issues.