This article discusses some of the findings of a research project which was designed to examine the role of community learning disability nurses in supporting people with learning disabilities who become parents. The need for information and help with the experience of pregnancy, childbirth, becoming parents and bringing up children has been highlighted in a recently issued guide for commissioning and providing services for people with learning disabilities (NHS Executive 1998). This research, however, indicates that nurses do not feel themselves to be adequately prepared for their role in supporting parenting. Responses from a questionnaire survey of 266 practitioners revealed little coverage of key issues relating to parenting on either pre-registration or post-basic courses and suggests, therefore, that some courses may not be meeting the perceived needs of these nurses in this crucial aspect of their role. This is likely to have significant consequences for this client group and suggests that educationalists need to consider ways of including more extensive discussion of parenting in educational provision for the multiplicity of professional groups who support and care for adults with learning disabilities. (C ) 1999 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.