Get learning as a family

Family learning

Get on, explore and create together − improve your skills and support your children's love of learning.


Derbyshire County Council's Adult Community Education Service works with families. We support parents to develop skills that help their children and themselves through:

  • Developing active, fun learning programmes
  • Involving parents in their children's learning
  • Improving parents' skills and confidence
  • Supporting families to get on better together.

We offer programmes and activities for parents and for families learning together, from early years to teenagers. We work with schools, nurseries and children's centres, and with agencies that support families across Derbyshire.

The majority of these courses are FREE.

Priority for places is given to new learners and parents and carers who do not have a current GCSE in English or maths.

Get on together

These programmes and activities help parents support children's development and to develop the skills to make family life run more smoothly.

  • First Steps into Early Years, helping to understand children's development from 2 − 5 years using hands on, fun activities to share.
  • Keeping Up with the Kids, sharing the skills and confidence to support children with English and maths at home.
  • Parenting skills, facing the day to day challenges of being a parent, and dealing with family relationships.
  • Healthy Eating, sharing simple ideas to make healthy family diets exciting for children. For example, Love Food Hate Waste − Save More.
  • Making the most of your money, discovering ways to save and stretch household income to make fun family life fun.

Explore together

These programmes and activities are for children and parents/carers to discover new skills together.

  • K'NEX Together Maths, developing maths skills using everyday construction toys in practical hands on challenges. Ideal for families with children in key stage 2.
  • Number Explorers, using nursery construction toys to explore maths and communication skills through play.
  • Family Science, making science accessible and fun using household materials and ingredients, such as make a volcano.
  • Outdoor Adventures, for the whole family, with activities such as den building, art and minibeast hunts to discover the fun of being outside together.
  • Story Time Fun/Big Books, introducing exciting ways to help make story time fun, including creating activities and improving story telling skills for parents/carers of 3−7 year olds.

Create together

These programmes and activities develop skills in experimenting, imagining and making to help to develop a love of learning together.

  • Cookery, using easy recipes to create tasty dishes together, so both parents and children gain skills and confidence in the kitchen.
  • Story Sacks and Number Sacks, making a special bag full of puppets, soft toys and games to bring reading and maths to life, for parents of children aged 3 − 7 years.
  • Family Art and Craft, creating a love of making something special together with simple materials and imagination. We offer lots of different ways to get creative with paper, clay, paint and natural materials.

We also offer family learning fun days across the county where families can take part in short workshop activities.

For many parents and carers, family learning is the first step back into learning. Family learning can lead to you gaining new skills which will improve your employment prospects. You may want to continue doing a specific subject for yourself such as art, craft, computing or languages.

Family Learning can also be the first step to progress to a qualification in childcare. Find out more about childcare courses.

To find out what courses are currently on offer please call at your local adult community education centre or library, or visit our course search (opens in a new window).