On April 28, YWCA Vancouver released the results of a new survey at a symposium on early learning and care. The survey, conducted by the YWCA and paid for by Vancity, produced some surprising results concerning public support for comprehensive family policy. The poll surveyed 800 respondents throughout BC and revealed overwhelming support for government spending on family services and support programs. However, it also revealed some popular misconceptions.
Family Support and Early Learning and Child Care
The survey demonstrated strong support for early learning and child care services regardless of age, region, gender and income level. Respondents overwhelmingly supported improving access to affordable child care in BC. By far the most popular policy options for achieving this goal were:
1) increasing affordable quality child care services and
2) additional income supports for low income parents.
There was also substantial support for additional government spending to ensure families and children get the help needed to succeed.
While the survey revealed a remarkable degree of public support for increased government spending on early learning and child care, it also demonstrated that BC residents shared some popular misconceptions around key issues. The majority of respondents severely underestimated the number of BC children considered vulnerable or at risk, while an overwhelming majority didn’t know that Canada ranks near last among OECD nations in support for families with young children.
Some key findings:
- 88% of respondents support the BC government in meeting its goal of reducing the number of vulnerable children to 15% by 2015.
To achieve the above goal:
- 89% supported increasing affordable quality child care services.
- 83% supported increasing income supports for low income parents.
- 60% supported an investment of $1 billion or more additional government spending to ensure families and children get the help needed to succeed.
- 37% supported spending “whatever it takes” to achieve this goal.
- 70% underestimated the number of children in BC who are ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’. (The current number in BC is 29%).
- Only 14% correctly guessed that Canada ranks near last among OECD nations in support for families with young children.