Sunderland dads urged to play bigger role in children’s activities

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MORE dads across Wearside are being urged to get involved with their child’s development.

Children’s Centres in Sunderland have seen a drop in the number of male role models taking part in activities with youngsters.

Sunderland Children, a service that offers fun and educational classes to young people aged from birth to five years old and their parents and carers, is calling for dads, grandads and uncles across the city to go along and take part, after the number of men taking their young ones to the centres fell.

The centres have seen the percentage of attendees to the dads’ classes drop, prompting the appeal for more men to go along to the classes that are aimed specifically at male carers and their young ones.

Sunderland Children, which has five main centres across the city delivered in the East, North, West, Coalfield and Washington areas of Sunderland, has added more male-focused activities such as football and gardening classes to its line up, and there are dads-only groups to help more people engage with the service.

Councillor Pat Smith, portfolio holder for children’s services at Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland Children offers activities that are designed to develop the skills of young people and help them prepare for nursery, school and life in general.

“It is vital that – where possible – both parents play an active role in encouraging their children to become happy, well-rounded individuals, and that includes attending groups with them, taking part in activities together and generally creating a strong father-child bond.

“We’d love to see more male carers coming to the Children’s Centres and supporting their children’s development.

“With classes that can be attended by mums, dads, grandparents and relations, as well as sessions that are aimed specifically at fathers and their young ones, we have some great activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.”

The centres, which are open six days a week, run a huge range of classes, including nursery rhymes and singing, play sessions and cooking.

For more information about Sunderland Children, log on to, or join the Sunderland Children’s Centre group on Facebook.