Dads take the initiative

Christopher BarrheadCHRIS Turnbull and his one-year-old daughter Emily have an empowering message for dads who feel childcare services have forgotten them:

If you want a father-friendly playgroup, why not set one up yourself?

That’s exactly what the 31-year-old dad did in his East Renfrewshire community earlier this month – and the take-up for the new Barrhead Men and Toddlers group has amazed him.

“As soon as we set up the Facebook page, the interest exploded,” says Chris, who received help from the Early Years Collaborative. “We got more than 100 ‘likes’, and lots of fathers seeking support or offering help. We’ve got 10/15 dads coming next week!”

The group meets for two hours every Saturday morning, providing a sociable space for dads to chat and play with their under-fives. It’s just the latest in a growing number of groups springing up across Scotland as fathers take responsibility for sharing childcare.

“I had tried to access the services that were available in my area,” explains Chris, “But they were all angled towards women and