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How can we make Britain more family-friendly?

(180 Posts)
Carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 31-Aug-10 16:15:13

Mumsnet are launching an initiative to try and make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe (well...the world actually, but we thought we'd start small smile) Ambitious plan? Just a bit, but we think long overdue. We want to challenge companies - and we're talking everyone from travel firms to supermarkets, restaurants to mobile phone merchants - to join our programme and find out - from Mumsnetters - how they could make their industry more family-friendly. We're going to look at every aspect of how a company operates from how they market their goods to the welcome and facilities they provide to families. And then we want to encourage them to do business in a way that makes life easier for families not more difficult, and ultimately give Mumsnet Family-friendly awards to the ones that do it well.

Obviously we'll need lots of help and input from the folks who know most about all this - ie you. So before we really get going, we want to know what you think. What does family-friendly mean to you and what criteria should we use to judge whether a company is family-friendly or not? What do you love about what some companies are already doing and - just as important - what do you think they should stop doing? Is it the way companies try to sell products to you or your children that makes you cross or is it the fact that you can never squeeze your buggy down the aisle at your local coffee shop? Or both, or neither? If you could pick three things you'd change about any industry to make it more family friendly - what would they be?

Lots of questions but we'd love to hear your thoughts so please, post 'em here



chocolatebiscuits Wed 02-May-12 22:57:04

Stop putting stupid radar keys on disabled toilets - there's not exactly a queue of wheelchairs waiting to use them and they are ideal for parents with a buggy.

I would love to see an end to pubs that don't allow children in.

And more affordable housing for families. So many lovely family houses with gardens are full of pensioners whilst families are crammed into tiny flats. Meanwhile the current government cuts benefits for families on all types of incomes whilst leaving pensioners untouched. Very unequal society between generations.

sussextealady Wed 23-May-12 13:02:53

we need to look at how europe deals with child friendly policies, especially Germany and Sweden, excellent for children and parents.

Public transport in uk very difficult when you have young children in buggies. The London tube is horrible with young kids.

baby changing rooms few and far between, and if you find one , stinky and dirty!

breastfeeding rooms, also, difficult, very few places to go , apart from debenhams, mothercare. once was told i could use a staff toilet in tesco, not nice!

atttiude in british culture needs to change and women MP's in government need to lobby and try and improve the staus of parents in our society.

loubielou31 Fri 09-Nov-12 17:11:22

The best nappy changing rooms have a loo cubicle in them too so mums/older potty training siblings can use them without having to fight the pram into another room.

Like many have said restaurants that make me feel welcome with my children are the ones that get my repeat custom.

Family attractions should not rob you twice, once for entry and then again if you want to buy anything within the park.

Decent play parks are always welcome but are in many places really hard to find.

loubielou31 Fri 09-Nov-12 17:13:42

Attitudes towards parents who need to take time off work because their children are ill need to change. Provision of better, cheaper childcare during school holidays is desperately needed.

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 09-Nov-12 19:25:28

I'd like to see a move towards larger parking spaces in general. P&T spaces are often full at our supermarket and I don't feel the standard parking space size has kept pace with family sized cars. It would just make going out a bit less stressful.

My employer is very family friendly, they are generous about granting part time requests for both men and women and requests for unpaid leave and they are generally very flexible if children are ill etc. I can also 'buy' up to 2 weeks holiday if I anticipate needing a bit extra. I know a lot of people aren't as lucky.

I would also like to see more parks, playgrounds and safe outdoor spaces. Parts of London are really well equipped but the rest of us are not always so lucky.

I was surprised to get on a bus the other day and then realise it wasn't accessible and there was nowhere for my pushchair. Bit of a stressful time and I think it would be good to either phase out all non-accessible buses or at least make it clear at the bus stop and on timetables if the bus is not going to be an accessible one.

I think it's a shame that the SureStart centres have lost some of their funding too, all the groups I have been to have been really great.

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