North Shore Neighbourhood House and North Shore Community Resources have completed an in depth review of ‘child and family friendliness’ throughout the North Shore. The survey was prepared by a third party and reviewed all aspects of ‘child and family friendliness’ through community consultation with child care service providers and parents.
The survey was also supported by the City and District of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver. Research was conducted from January to March 2013, collecting data from 100 North Shore service providers and more than 1,700 parents to gage how effectively the region is responding and adapting to the needs of its diverse family groups. The survey reviewed areas such as family support services, child care, early learning, transportation, health services, housing, schools, workplaces, recreation and community services, as well as parks, fields and open spaces.
“The results of the Child and Family Friendliness on the North Shore survey reveal areas where we’re succeeding and areas where more work is needed,” says Lisa Hubbard, Executive Director, North Shore Neighbourhood House. “This is valuable feedback from parents and service providers about what they would like to see in place to make our communities safer, affordable and friendly for all families.”
The survey categories demonstrated a strong consensus between service providers and parents. Both groups identified the following areas as priority needs:
- safe crossings, more sidewalks, curb accessibility for strollers and wheelchairs
- more programming at outdoor spaces
- more covered spaces at public parks
- more affordable childcare
- more before and after school care at school sites
- more spaces that offer flexible hours for under 5 year olds
- safe routes for children to walk to school, and safe drop-off and pick-up areas
The survey also revealed areas in which service providers and parents feel the North Shore is in a strong position, including:
- our parks, fields and other open spaces have well-maintained play spaces, are designed to keep children away from traffic and have adequate seating close to play areas
- there are many welcoming places where parents of young children can meet each other
- our elementary schools are welcoming to parents
- our health service providers are welcoming to children and their facilities are equipped to make children and parents feel at ease
The Child and Family Friendliness survey will be presented to all three North Shore municipal councils and community non-profit organizations for review and next steps.