Survey to chart future of child care in Waterloo region

The Region of Waterloo wants to hear from parents of young children to help them plan for the future of child and family centres.

Ontario Early Years Centres changing to focus on children and family

Parents are being asked to give their thoughts on child and family programming in Waterloo region. (Photo courtesy Region of Waterloo)

Parents are being asked to offer their advice to improve Early Years Centres in the region.

An online survey asks parents what programs and services the child and family centres need, where they should be located, as well as about drop-in programs and programs that are specific to diverse cultures.

Barb Cardow, the director of children's services with the Region of Waterloo, said they're speaking to parents because they're the experts.

"We are looking for consistency in how we provide services and yet each area is given the flexibility to plan locally so that we can respond to the local needs," Cardow said.

"That's why we are doing a survey, to [be] informed on what those local needs are."

Cardow said they want to hear from parents who use their services as well as parents who don't, because they want to better understand problems or limitations those parents might be experiencing when accessing programs.

The survey will provide the region with some local direction as the province transforms all child and parent programs from the Ontario Early Years Centres to Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres.

The online survey will be available online until April 4.