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Fathers have positive impact on children's educational outcomes

Marriage and Family
27 September 2023
Dad with child on his shoulders

A new study has shown that children whose fathers read, sing and draw with them show a 'small but significant' increase in educational attainment at primary school.

Greater involvement by dads before their child attends primary school gives children an educational advantage in their first year, according to the new research by the University of Leeds.

Funded by the Economic and Social research Council, the study drew a distinction between the impact of mums and dads. While mums have more impact on emotional and social behaviours, dads had a bigger impact on educational attainment.

Dads should carve out at least 10 minutes a day to engage in playful and educational activities with their children. Schools and early year providers should develop strategies to engage dads.

Commenting, CARE's Director of Communications and Engagement, James Mildred, said:

This fascinating study gives us further evidence that having dads involved in a child's life improves their life outcomes. Tragically, we have a chronic problem of absentee dads, with the vast majority of single parents being the mum. Coupled with this is a society that has routinely undermined marriage and made it financially inaccessible to many. Alongside the fantastic work of frontline charities like 'LadsNeedDads', we need to better understand why Dads are often absent and we need to address the financial barriers to marriage. One quick win is to expand the marriage tax allowance so it's a 100% transferable allowance, rather than the current 10%.
James Mildred CARE

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Marriage and Family

Strong families are foundational to a healthy society. Marriages too are vital, representing the gold standard of commitment. CARE is committed to upholding both.

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