April 30, 2013 1:02 am
Y Community Snapshot participants ranked providing a safe environment for children as the top priority for a second consecutive year. Their local school systems were ranked as the second most important factor impacting their community's strength – up from fifth place last year. In addition, 64 percent of parents believe an educational achievement gap exists within their community, specifically as it relates to an individual's income, status or wealth.
The Y Community Snapshot, commissioned by YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), is a consumer survey measuring how Americans view quality of life in their communities nationwide. The survey is based on factors such as community member involvement, and the quality of a community's services ranging from education to promoting healthy lifestyles.
According to the survey, Americans are looking more to education to help improve the quality of life in their community. In fact, five of the top 10 most important community strength drivers focused on education and children. Forty percent of respondents believe that it's the responsibility of schools, colleges and other educational institutions to improve the quality of life across communities.
Additionally, the ability to offer employment opportunities and job training for teens and young adults jumped into the top 10 most important drivers for building a strong community, with an increase of more than 5 percent over last year.
Other key findings include:
- Public education is the number one area respondents say they would allocate local tax dollars to in order to strengthen their community. Nearly half of parents (46 percent) rate their community's school system or child's school as average or below average in providing the resources, services, people and programs to help students who want or need additional or extra assistance, support and opportunity.
- Three of four respondents (72 percent) feel the "educational achievement gap" reduces, limits or negatively impacts a young person's chances, opportunity or ability to succeed in adult life.
- About three-fourths (72 percent) of parents say they currently use or have used some form of childcare (defined as "any service,” excluding personal babysitter, where someone else is caring for your children, including daycare).
- Over 40 percent (43 percent) of parents who currently use or have used childcare rely upon before or after-school programs or daycare.
Published with permission from RISMedia.