Prime Minister David Cameron will today [18 May] officially launch a new NHS family support support programme with initiatives including a text message advice service and government-funded parenting classes.

Speaking ahead of the launch last night the Conservative leader defended the £3.5 million project saying: "It's ludicrous that we expect people to train for hours to drive a car or use a computer, but when it comes to looking after a baby we tell people to just get on with it."

Parents will be able to join www.nhs.uk/parents from today and subsequentley will receive free texts and emails before and after the birth.

They will also be able to watch videos from other parents while parents of under-fives in Middlesbrough, High Peak, Derbyshire and Camden will also be able to sign up to free parenting classes.

The scheme also received the backing of the Royal College of Midwives whose chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "Good quality information, which this service promotes, during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, can have a significant long-term impact on the health and well-being of mothers and babies."

To find out more and access the service visit www.nhs.uk/parents 

Posted 18/05/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com