Having children is an exciting and all-rounded job and not always easy. Children grow up in different forms of families – with a single mom or dad, in a classical nuclear family or in a "blended family". Because of changes in the working world as well as the change of role models, parents want and need more information and networking. "Parental education" should help people, who live together with children (mothers, fathers, grandparents), to raise their children.
The Federal State Government of Upper Austria wants to support families as good as possible. Parents can refresh their knowledge in courses, workshops, lectures and discussions dealing with this subject and where they can get information on the different development phases of children (childbirth, baby, school age, adolescence), how to handle difficulties with their children and they have the possibility to exchange experiences and discuss problems.
Furthermore, there are events about the relationship between man and woman.
From 2005 to 2009, poor families with 4 to 6 year old children were the target group (in cohesion with a sponsorship for child care called "Kinderbetreuungsbonus") and got the coupons for "Parental education".
In September 2009 this was expanded: all families with children aged under 15, who have the "Upper Austrian Family Card" (~ 160.000 families), get coupons for "Parental education". After the application for the "Upper Austrian Family Card", coupons to the amount of 20 Euros are sent to each family, as well as for the 3rd, 6th and 10th birthday of a child.
In courses, workshops, lectures and discussions dealing with "Parental education" these coupons can be converted.
Parents as well as the organizations, which offer "Parental education", were interviewed: 2009 a survey showed that "Parental education" is in demand. In 2008, more than 15.000 coupons were converted. In 2009, more than 32.000 coupons were converted and in 2010 about 52.000 coupons, 2011 52.500 coupons.
Furthermore, there is a steady rise in the offer of "Parental education". In 2005 about 600 courses were offered and in 2009 about 4.800 different courses. In the year 2010 the online system of the Upper Austrian Family Card offers more than 8.000 courses.
Parents who attend these courses, as well as the organizations, which offer "Parental education" benefit from these measures. Parents get new information, they can discuss their problems in upbringing their children, and so on.
Families who do not have to do something with "Parental education", are encouraged by the coupons to make use of this offer.
Because of the coupons, there are more courses and workshops dealing with this theme. Furthermore, more parents attend these courses and workshops.