Toddlers: betting on housing and countering abuse
Abuse and access to affordable housing are two of the priorities raised by the report of the Observatoire des tout-petits.
Access to affordable housing for families, prevention of child abuse and access to health and social services specialists for families with young children are priorities for Quebecers to promote the development and well-being of toddlers.
The Observatoire des tout-petits unveils this morning the results of a survey of Quebecers to find out their expectations of their provincial elected officials on the issue. The survey revealed these three priorities for investment among the various issues affecting toddlers.
Thus, 32% of respondents consider access to affordable housing for families to be a priority for the development of young children. According to the Observatory's research report, living in unaffordable housing “can make parents less willing to respond well to their child's needs” and “decreases their mental availability and their sense of parental competence and responsiveness”. Better rent control and access to affordable housing are solutions advocated by respondents.
With regard to child abuse, 29% of people who contributed to the questionnaire consider this issue a priority. Focusing on this aspect would reduce the risk of dropping out of school, financial precariousness in adulthood and physical and mental health problems. According to the report, improving living conditions and reducing family stress would help prevent child abuse.
Finally, 27% of respondents think that access to health and social service specialists through families with young children should be one of the three priorities. Research from the Toddler Observatory points to issues of emotional distress when young children do not have timely access to specialists.
Government must do more
The report also sheds light on the perceived role of government in the well-being of the province's children. As such, access to educational childcare services should be ensured for young children in situations of vulnerability or abuse or those from low-income families.
The report also states that the fate toddlers should be the concern of all levels of government and all sectors, from community to business.