Kindergarten Parent Survey: Using research to build services that help families thrive

dad with kids

The Kindergarten Parent Survey (KPS) was designed by Halton researchers to examine specific experiences of Halton families. We ask parents and caregivers about issues such as child care, parenting, neighbourhood life, and their children’s health. Since 2003 OKN has conducted the KPS every three years. This year will be the fifth time we have done the KPS. Past results from the KPS are included in OKN community report cards 2008 and 2011, and the Data Portal.

Some recent facts about families with 5-year-olds in Halton:

In 2012, 1628 parents responded to the KPS.  More mothers responded than fathers (89% vs. 11%). The majority of parents told us that they’re feeling connected to other parents (81%), and feel supported in their parenting efforts by the people closest to them (93%).

The parenting results from the KPS showed that parenting can be stressful – 74% of parents surveyed reported experiencing some amount of stress related to parenting, and 12% reported feeling very or extremely stressed. Our 2012 results also showed a decline in the percentage of parents taking time out to take care of their own health and wellbeing (71% vs. 76% in 2009).

Results from our last KPS showed a decline in family meals. In 2012, 82% of parents responding to the KPS reported having a family meal together at least once a day compared to 94% in 2009.

The majority of 5-year-olds in Halton are having breakfast daily – 95% of parents responding to the KPS in 2012 told us that their children are eating breakfast every day.

Thirty-five percent of parents surveyed in 2012 reported that their child attended a children’s program in the past 12 months. Almost three quarters of those parents (73%) reported that their child attended a sports or recreation program on a weekly basis, whereas only one third of parents reported that their child attended music, art or dance programs on a weekly basis.

Thirty-six percent of parents reported visiting a public library at least once a month in 2012. Families in Oakville were most likely to report visiting a public library at least once a month (43%), followed by Milton (38%), Halton Hills (31%), and Burlington (30%).

Halton service providers use data from the KPS to make decisions about programs and services.

For example, Ready Set Go!  webpages with checklists, community supports and programs, printable resources and more are available to help families and their children with the transition to Kindergarten. The Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, Ontario Early Years Centres and Halton Public Health all collaborated to create this important resource using information from the KPS and other sources.

Results of the 2015 KPS will be available on the OKN website in the Fall of 2015.