We examine how children’s centres in a major city in England responded to food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to run ‘FOOD Clubs’ to support families. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with children’s centre staff, we analyse how clubs were organised, why people joined them, and the range of benefits parents derived from them. We extend the literature on food insecurity which focuses heavily on the rise of foodbanks. Our data also informs broader policy debates around supporting parents in poverty, effective early years provision and the challenges facing families experiencing food insecurity.
This article investigates the extent to which parents believe they are better than average parents using data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. The article builds on a long tradition of sociological research focusing on the interconnections between parenting, class, education and inequality. We find that mothers with low levels of education are more likely to say they are average or worse than average parents. Relatedly, we show that those who are highly educated are more likely to consider themselves as being better than average, even when a range of child and mother characteristics such as mother’s mental health and child’s cognitive and socio-emotional development are considered. These findings are linked to research showing how certain groups of parents are stigmatised or valorised in popular and political discourse. Our article also extends scholarship by examining the connection between parental mental health and parental competence beliefs.