MONTREAL, Oct. 17, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - With the municipal election campaign in full swing, a Leger poll conducted for the Early Childhood Observatory reveals the expectations of families with children aged 5 and under with regard to their municipality. Among those surveyed, 91% felt it was important for their city to provide more services and activities for young children.
Municipalities have the power to act on families' quality of life
"A surprising finding is that only 24% of parents with children aged 5 and under feel that the municipality is the level of government best equipped to improve their family's quality of life. And yet, municipalities have the power to take concrete action that affects the immediate environment and, as a result, the well-being and development of young children," said Fannie Dagenais, director of the Early Childhood Observatory.
"Whether by implementing measures to facilitate access to housing, organizing sports, recreational and family activities, or developing parks and infrastructures, municipalities have remarkable leverage for providing a safe environment to foster the development of children aged 5 and under. They can make a real difference in enabling the next generation to develop to its full potential! Initiatives with a real impact can be observed throughout the province: improved social and cultural activities for young children, adoption of family-oriented policies and introduction of educational services aimed at fostering early learning, autonomy and socialization. There are many inspiring projects that municipalities can use as examples," added Ms. Dagenais.
Accessible measures for improving young children's well-being and supporting their development
While the majority of parents with young kids are aware of services and activities for children in their municipality, 32% are unable to say or believe their city offers no such services. Parents also spoke out on the measures their municipality should implement or make more accessible to encourage their children's well-being and development.
Among the suggested measures, the development of parks with playgrounds and equipment adapted and accessible to young children and families (53%), sports activities aimed at children aged 5 and under (43%), and events and outings for families (42%) top the list.
When asked what would prompt them to participate in municipal programs and activities, 75% of respondents said that free or affordably priced access would be determining factors in whether they use these services. Moreover, 52% felt it was important to have schedules that are adapted to working hours.
The results presented in this document were obtained using a Web survey conducted by Leger from September 29 to October 9, 2017, with a representative sample of 1,000 Quebec residents aged 18 or over, who have children aged 5 and under, and who speak French or English.
About the Early Childhood Observatory
The mission of the Early Childhood Observatory (Observatoire des tout-petits), a project of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, is to help ensure that the development and well-being of Quebec's youngest children has a place at the top of the province's list of social priorities. To achieve this, the Observatory compiles the most reliable and relevant data on 0-5 year-olds, which it then disseminates to encourage dialogue on possible collective action in this area. For more information on the Early Childhood Observatory, please visit www.tout-petits.org.
SOURCE Early Childhood Observatory