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Ministry of Education.

Incredible Years Parent

What is the Incredible Years Parent programme?

Incredible Years Parent is a 14-session programme for parents of children aged 3–8, which provides parents with skills to better manage children with behavioural problems, creating a home environment that is conducive to positive social and educational outcomes.

The programme is delivered by Ministry of Education, Special Education staff and by 69 non-government organisations (NGOs). Many of these NGOs also provide a range of social services to families funded through the ministries of Health or Social Development or other agencies.

The Ministry of Social Development ran a pilot study to evaluate the programme and the results showed sustained improvement in both the parenting practices and the children’s behaviour. Read the evaluation report published by the Ministry of Social Development.

What is involved?

Parents across the country come together each week for around two hours and develop approaches to use at home with problem behaviours, such as aggressiveness, ongoing tantrums, and acting out behaviour, such as swearing, whining, yelling, hitting and kicking, answering back, and refusing to follow rules.

The programme looks at:

  • making time to play and spend quality time with children and letting children lead the play
  • encouraging the behaviours parents would like to see, through setting clear rules and boundaries and using praise and encouragement
  • selectively using consequences, such as ignoring, loss of privilege, and time out.

Parents learn from each other and support each other.

Support materials

A DVD has been developed which focuses on parents who’ve done the Incredible Years Parent programme in New Zealand telling their stories. You can view a clip of the video here: Incredible Years Parent video (external website). To order a copy of the DVD, email  PB4L@education.govt.nz.

MSD evaluation report and update (external website).

Who to contact

Contact your local  Ministry of Education district office if you’re interested in the Incredible Years – Parent programme.

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