Fathers after lockdown: join our Time with Dad project

9 June 2021

Time with Dad is our new project that aims to support fathers to take the time they need to help their children’s learning and development.

The Fatherhood Institute’s goal is to create a society that supports men as actively involved, caring fathers, through:

  • Maternity and postnatal services that support fathers’ close attachment to their babies, and understanding of early child development
  • Well-paid parenting leave for dads in their baby’s first year – to give them substantial and affordable time off work for bonding and caregiving
  • Workplaces that recognise and adapt to men’s caregiving roles – including via flexible and home-based working options wherever possible
  • Schools, early years and other family services that engage and support fathers to help their children learn.

We know that to achieve change in all these areas, we need new approaches from the ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’. With that in mind, as well as lobbying for national-level changes in policy and practice, we want to work with fathers, mothers, employers, trade unions, schools, early years providers and others to explore new ideas, form powerful partnerships and trial interesting, scaleable approaches.

Maybe you’re an employer, a teacher, a dad or a mum, and saw in lockdown how important dads’ input can be. Perhaps you’re a researcher, or work in national or regional government. Whoever you are, we want to hear from you. Let’s get together to create and evaluate new approaches to supporting father-involvement!

Press coverage and events

Watch our recent BritainThinks webinar, Transforming workplaces, transforming families.

Listen to our ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ podcast with Ed Miliband, Geoff Lloyd and the Prime Minister of Iceland.

Read this Sunday Telegraph feature for Father’s Day 2021.

Let’s rethink how we support men

Here are some questions to get you thinking…

Employers: What flexible working options do you offer – and how do you communicate them to dads? Do you actively encourage fathers to think about these opportunities? Are line managers briefed to ask men about their caregiving roles? What parental leave options are available for men? How much notice do fathers receive of their shift patterns and work rotas?

Schools and early years settings: How did you engage with dads during lockdown – and how are you going to do this in future?

Dads: What did you enjoy about supporting your children’s learning during lockdown? What did you find difficult? What would make it easier for you to keep things up post-pandemic?

Mums: Did your child’s dad get involved in home schooling? Have you noticed a change in him? Are there things you could do to support his future involvement?

Researchers: What do we know about ‘what works’ in employer support for men’s domestic involvement, and in father-engagement by schools? What don’t we know? How could we get better evidence?

Policy people: Are you thinking about fathers as you develop post-pandemic ‘build-back’ programmes? What kind of help would be useful to you as you do this?

If you have ideas, please share them with us by emailing Jeremy at j.davies (at) fatherhoodinstitute.org. You can also support the project by signing up here. We will keep you updated with specific actions you could take via occasional newsletters, and via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, using the hashtag #timewithdad. Please use the hashtag to share your experiences and ideas too.

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