This week on the Thrive! blog we’re sharing some great resources for children, youth and families available online and in our own Region of Peel, starting with our own Supporting Healthy Child Development: The Experiences of Parents in Peel report.

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The Supporting Healthy Child Development report is the result of months of polling research within our Peel community, which happens to be one of the most diverse regions in Canada. Taking into consideration various key socio-economic differences (such as gender, marital status, ethnic background and length of time in Canada) our researchers polled over 1,500 parents across the Region of Peel to better understand parents’ experiences of informal and formal supports. The data in this report gives insight into how we and our community partners can provide services in ways that are better aligned with the actual needs, interests and aspirations of the diverse and changing families who live across the Region of Peel. We’ve already received some great feedback on the report, including the following endorsement from Diane Myers, Executive Director of the Family Education Centre:

“The Family Education Centre (FEC) has eagerly awaited the Building Healthy Child Development: The Experiences of Parents in Peel report and is very pleased with the report.  When Invest in Kids first released their national data relating to experiences of parents in Canada, we believed that it would be a great tool for us to guide us in our decision making when we took upon our program review, however, we were even more excited when PCYI took the framework and made it Peel specific!  An excellent tool for us!   Graham, Dana and I met to review the data and take Graham up on his offer of digging deeper to reveal more specific information about parenting education in Peel. At our staff meeting we briefly reviewed the report and then eagerly discussed the opportunity for some customized analysis of specific data. Our team went through the PCYI’s draft Parent Polling for customized reports with an eye to parenting education and how FEC can move forward with obtaining data so we can make data-informed decisions during our program review process.  Very exciting and very timely for FEC.”

To supplement the report, Heather and Dana are hosting webinars on how to better understand and utilize its data. The first webinar was held in November and the slides are available for review on our website. We hope you’ll join us for Webinar #2, which will be held sometime in the New Year.

Another great resource for child-related inquiries in Peel is Child Development Resource Connection Peel (CDRCP), an organization which connects community members and child/youth/family professionals with the information, resources, training and services to promote quality family life. In addition to being a centralized database for all services related to children and youth, including information about daycare and education services and resources for children with special needs, CDRCP also maintains a resource lending library for individuals and organizations who work with children and families. You can access CDRCP and their resources by visiting their website, by calling 1-888-836-5550 (toll free) and by following them on Twitter.

And speaking of Twitter, the micro-blogging service has led us to some fantastic online connections with other great local resources for children, youth and families. If you’re looking to keep up to date with what’s going on in our community, we recommend you start following:

Mississauga Kids, an online and print guide providing news on activities and events geared toward Mississauga families. Published by Melanie Heathers, this is a great resource to check out if you’re looking for fun, local activities to do with your kids this holiday season.

Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, an organization dedicated to helping immigrant families settle into community life in the Region of Peel. Their Twitter feed posts regular updates about Canadian immigration news and is a particularly useful resource for newcomers looking to find employment, volunteer opportunities and community events.

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Source: http://www.peyalliance.com/

Peel Environmental Youth Alliance, an action-oriented group of Peel students determined to tackle environmental concerns and effect positive change in our community ecosystem. PEYAlliance is a fantastic source for environmental news and they’re currently promoting a re-branding initiative, which includes a logo contest.

United Way Peel, a volunteer led organization working to improve social conditions for all residents in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. Run on the premise that without you, there can be no way, United Way Peel is currently in the midst of their 2012 fundraising campaign. Please visit their website and consider contributing so they can reach their goal and continue strengthening our community.

Of course, there are many other local resources we look forward to featuring in future resource round-ups, and if you have any suggestions we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Resource Round-Up #1: Parent Polling Research, CDRCP, Mississauga Kids, Peel Newcomer, PEYAlliance & United Way Peel