Kindergarten Parent Survey KPS

Kindergarten Parent Survey (KPS)

The Kindergarten Parent Survey (KPS) is a companion document to the Early Development Instrument (EDI) that provides more information on family characteristics and experiences of children before entering Kindergarten. This voluntary 8-page survey completed by parents of Senior Kindergarten students asks questions related to the following areas:

  • Child Health and Development
  • Child Care
  • Pre-Kindergarten Experiences
  • Kindergarten
  • Family
  • Neighbourhood
  • Background Information

The KPS survey

While the EDI provides a snapshot of how children are doing, the KPS provides information on specific or unique local factors (in neighbourhoods or communities) that may influence a child’s developmental health. The results can help service providers to assess the popularity of preschool programs; child care providers to get information on service usage, barriers, and satisfaction; and schools to measure parent involvement in school activities. Community planners can use information from the KPS to see how safe families feel in their neighbourhood, which resources they have (or do not) have access to, and their sense of social cohesion (e.g. sense of belonging in the community).

2012 KPS Results

The KPS was implemented across Ontario for the first time during Cycle 3 of the EDI. In the spring of 2012, Senior Kindergarten teachers from the following school boards in Windsor and Essex County completed EDIs on each of their students:

  • The Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB)
  • The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB)
  • Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence (CSC Providence)
  • Conseil Scolaire Viamonde (CS Viamonde)

Parents of these students also received a Kindergarten Parent Survey. A total of 4,124 surveys were handed out and 1,934 (47%) were returned.

The Offord Centre for Child Studies has compiled a report for all of Ontario and the Data Analysis Coordinator for Windsor-Essex has added local results for comparison.

Read the complete report.

Highlights of Windsor-Essex KPS Results

Background Information of Respondents

The majority of respondents were mothers (87.8%), had always lived in Canada (76.4%), and primarily spoke English (86.4%). Almost 40% had a college diploma or trades certificate with most working 25–49 hours per week. 31.2% reported household income between $50,001-$100,000 and 27.9% greater than $100,000. Most families had two parents at home (81.1%) with 2 - 3 children.

Child Health and Development

Most children were reported to be in excellent health (59.5%) or very good (31.3%). The majority (96.7%) of respondents had a regular health care provider.
Food bank usage – 4.9% (94 families) had used a food bank 1–3 times annually but 89.3% had never used one.

Child Care

Usage – Most families did not use child care when children were very young (79.9% indicated “parent care only” for 0 to 1 year olds). Usage of other types of care increased as the child got older. For the 2.5–4 years old age group 36.9% used licensed care in a centre. Of those children in other types of care, the highest percentage of hours in care per week was more than 30 hours for all age groups. This was consistent with provincial results.
Barriers when seeking child care arrangements: 40.1% indicated care was too expensive followed by a concern about quality at 22.4%.
Factors and their importance when selecting child care services: The number one factor indicated as very important was “quality of program / care” at 76.9%. “Centre / caregiver reputation” was next at 75.4% followed by “staff are professional / certified Early Childhood Educators” at 63.8%.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Experience

SK children in Windsor-Essex were less involved in community activities (once a week or more) than the province. The most reported programs accessed in the year before Kindergarten were music, arts, or dance programs; play-based programs; and the public library. 79.8% of respondents indicated that they had never attended a Parent and Family Literacy Centre.

Services Used Prior to Kindergarten

The most reported service accessed was speech and language (13.2%) and hearing (7.9%).
Barriers to service use: “Times did not work” and “Didn’t have information about services” were reported the most.

Parental Involvement at School

Respondents were more likely to attend a parent/teacher conference (65.9%) than other meetings or events at their child’s school. The greatest barrier to attending was “times don’t work / conflict with work”.

Transportation to School

46.7% of SK children take a school bus or taxi to school. 31.4% ride with or take transit with a parent. Only 13.3% walk or bike with a parent / guardian compared to 22.0% for the province.

Activities with Children

Daily activities that parents reported mostly with their children were:
  • Talked together about their child’s day (79.9%)
  • Told or read him/her a story (53.1%)
  • Household chores together (42.0%)
The least reported daily activities were arts, crafts, or drawings, and simple math games.

Parenting Workshops

64.7% of respondents had never attended a class, workshop, program, or event to help them in their role as a parent.

Parenting Challenges

The biggest reported parenting challenge was “finding family time” (36.9%) and “getting child to eat healthy” (34.6%).

Physical Activity

Parents – 36.5% performed moderate to vigorous activities 3–4 times a week.
Children – other than gym class, children participated in a sport or activity once a week or more;
  • With a coach or instructor – 64.5%
  • Without a coach or instructor – 76.9%

TV, Computer, and Video Game Use

On an average school day 37.4% of Senior Kindergarten (SK) children watched TV, played video games, or used a computer for 2 hours. This was higher than the provincial results of 35.7% for 2 hours use.

Neighbourhood / Community

Safety – Compared to the provincial results more respondents in Windsor-Essex (73.4%) felt their neighbourhood was safe to walk alone in after dark and 86.2% felt it was safe for children to play outside during the day. Most also felt they knew and could trust their neighbours.