Friday, 7 November 2008
As a newly-minted 'stay-at-home-dad' (albeit with one fledgling child already) I've been keen to keep up-to-date with childcare developments. I was sure, in the ten years since Sally was an infant, things would have changed and I was keen to find the latest childcare news. I've bought all the magazines; I've surfed the web voraciously. So when the above site was launched recently, I signed up straight-away. Now, as a rider, I must point out that (a) I've done this kind of thing before (and been disappointed) and (b) they've asked me to review their site. Most sites of this kind seem content to either peddle myths or act as vehicles for baby-product manufacturers. And although this site comes with the endorsement of the Disney Corporation, it appears at first-glance to be neither of those things. I was impressed enough to sign up, anyway. It can be difficult for a dad to find out all he needs to know about weaning, potty-training, when to cease breast-feeding (not a problem personally, although I have been close) and the like. Most books (and every magazine I've so far seen) seem geared to women, naturally enough. So the UK family web-site, with its easy 'Ages & Stages' links and 'Lifestyle' sections, has been something of a revelation. In terms of web-sites, I'm a BBC man; I like things plain and simple. And this site is ideal as a home-page, allowing easy browsing in and out of every kind of useful article and link. And it's interactive, too. Registered users can comment on the site, adding information to the growing database. The 'Education' section, for example, features items on the full range of issues, from bullying, to relationships with teachers, to homeschooling (with impressive technicalities, especially on the latter). To say I've been impressed is something of an understatement; there may be other sites 'out there' as good as this which I've yet to discover. But if you're looking, you could do a lot worse than start here.