Britain — Family Friendly?
Half of British parents (51%) feel the Government does not listen to the needs of parents and children, according to new research from MORI. The survey, commissioned by the National Family and Parenting Institute (NFPI), is for the report Making Britain Family Friendly.
The results from research carried out by MORI are among the key findings of the report:
- 30% of parents linked "family-friendly" to being valued for bringing up children, compared to 17% who linked it to financial support
- Half of parents (51%) believe that the Government does not listen to the needs of parents and children, while 23% disagree
- More than half of parents (56%) believe the most important change in policy would be to make flexible working a right, not just a right to ask for
- Parents' concerns about teenagers emerge, with putting more money into activities for teenagers named as the second most important policy to adopt (10%)
- While most parents, broadly speaking, like where they live (74%), all could name areas where significant improvements were needed. More than half (56%) cited having more police on the streets as something that would improve their daily life, and a call for a 20 mph speed limit in residential areas as the next most important issue (34%).
MORI Social Research Institute interviewed a representative sample of 1,391 parents throughout Great Britain across 195 sampling points, from 24-28 April 2003. All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home, using omnibus methodology. Data have been weighted to the known profile of the British population.
- All figures in the main questionnaire are expressed in percentage terms based on 1,391 parents unless otherwise stated. Where they do not sum to 100%, this will be either due to computer rounding, a number of not stated answers or a multiple response answer. An asterisk (*) denotes a figure greater than zero, but less than 0.5%.
- Interviews were carried out face-to-face in respondents' homes using CAPI between 24-28 April 2003.
- Data are weighted to be representative of the adult (15+) population by gender, age, region and employment status.
Q1a From this list which, if any, of these situations applies to you at the moment?
Base: All respondents (2,080)
|I am a parent ||48|
|I am a single parent||5|
|I am a grandparent||23|
|I have children aged 3 or under||9|
|I have children aged over 3 but under 10 years old||16|
|I have children aged over 10 but under 15 years old||13|
|I have children aged over 15 years old||25|
|I have no children at present but expect to have children at some point in the future||12|
|I have no children at present and have no plans to have any in the future||13|
|None of these||10|
Q1b Which two or three, if any, of these statements do you feel best describes the term 'family friendly'?
|Shops, restaurants etc geared towards meeting families' needs||31|
|Parents being valued for bringing up children||30|
|A society which supports families when things are going badly||25|
|Acceptance of, and help for, families in public places||25|
|A workplace geared towards meeting families' needs||22|
|Good quality childcare||20|
|A society where parents and children are listened to||20|
|Local authority services geared towards meeting families' needs||18|
|Provision of adequate financial support for families||17|
|'Family friendly' is a phrase which applies to parents and young children||15|
|Provision of good quality information to parents about bringing up their children||10|
|None of these||2|
Q2a Thinking about services, please could you name one service or action which you would call 'family friendly'. It could be services or actions provided by businesses, shops, restaurants, leisure centres, employers, or by local authorities
|Local (authority) childcare, e.g. after-school clubs, or holiday play schemes||10|
|Provision of local (authority) leisure facilities e.g. parks, playgrounds, swimming pools etc.||9|
|Opening times and /or prices of local (authority) leisure facilities||6|
|Local transport facilities, e.g. bus routes, siting of bus stops||4|
|Provision of housing and/or housing services for families||2|
|Consultation on local planning and developments||1|
|Environmental issues, e.g. tackling litter, traffic calming, adequate street lighting||1|
|Other — detailed split out to follow||33|
Q2b And which, if any, of these services or actions from a local authority which you have personally experienced, would you say are 'family friendly'?
|Provision of local (authority) leisure facilities e.g. parks, playgrounds, swimming pools etc.||49|
|Local (authority) childcare, e.g. after-school clubs, or holiday play schemes||36|
|Opening times and /or prices of local (authority) leisure facilities||26|
|Local transport facilities, e.g. bus routes, siting of bus stops||21|
|Environmental issues, e.g. tackling litter, traffic calming, adequate street lighting||19|
|Provision of housing and/or housing services for families||13|
|Consultation on local planning and developments||7|
|None of these||7|
Q3a And please could you give me one example of a service or action which was not family friendly. Again, it could be services or actions provided by businesses, shops, restaurants, leisure centres, employers or by local authorities
|Local transport facilities, e.g. bus routes, siting of bus stops||9|
|Environmental issues, e.g. tackling litter, traffic calming, adequate street lighting||5|
|Consultation on local planning and developments||5|
|Opening times and /or prices of local (authority) leisure facilities||4|
|Provision of local (authority) leisure facilities e.g. parks, playgrounds, swimming pools etc.||4|
|Local (authority) childcare, e.g. after-school clubs, or holiday play schemes||3|
|Provision of housing and/or housing services for families||3|
|Other — detailed split out to follow||15|
Q3b And which, if any, of these services which you have personally experienced, would you say are not family friendly?
|Local transport facilities, e.g. bus routes, siting of bus stops||24|
|Environmental issues, e.g. tackling litter, traffic calming, adequate street lighting||19|
|Consultation on local planning and developments||18|
|Provision of local (authority) leisure facilities e.g. parks, playgrounds, swimming pools etc.||13|
|Opening times and /or prices of local (authority) leisure facilities||11|
|Provision of housing and/or housing services for families||9|
|Local (authority) childcare, e.g. after-school clubs, or holiday play schemes||8|
|None of these||19|
Q4a I'm going to read out a short list of statements. For each one I read out, I'd like you to say to what extent you agree or disagree with each, using this card.
| ||Strongly agree||Tend to agree||Neither agree nor disagree||Tend to disagree||Strongly disagree||Don't know / No opinion|
|Britain is a more family friendly society than it was ten years ago||9||38||15||22||9||6|
|People in this country are more anti-children than in Europe||12||34||15||22||6||11|
|Companies target children too much, to market their products||52||32||7||6||1||2|
|Shops and restaurants don't provide enough family friendly facilities, for example, baby-changing and play areas||17||34||13||27||4||6|
|The Government doesn't listen to the needs of parents and children ||17||34||20||20||3||5|
|Being a family friendly employer isn't good for business||4||13||12||36||28||7|
|My local neighbourhood is a good place for families to live||26||48||11||9||5||1|
Q4b In your opinion does British business place more importance on women…?
|bringing up children||9|
|being able to do both||49|
|None of these||7|
Q5a The Government could bring in policies about parents and children in society. On this card is a list of some possibilities. Could you tell me which, if any, of them you think the Government should adopt? First of all, please tell me which you feel is most important for the government to adopt?
Q5b And which do you feel is second most important for the government to adopt?
Q5c And now could you tell me which you feel is the least important for the government to adopt?
| ||Most Important||Second most Important||Least Important|
|Bringing in a right to flexible working for parents (not just the right to ask)||25||11||4|
|Putting more money into activities for teenagers||10||11||4|
|Paid leave for mothers e.g. the right to take some paid time off to look after children||8||9||2|
|A ban on TV advertising aimed at children||8||10||21|
|Investing in more services to support families — for example, children's centres||7||7||3|
|Paid leave for fathers e.g. the right to take some paid time off to look after children||6||9||7|
|Cheaper public transport for everyone (parents and non-parents)||6||8||7|
|Increasing child benefit||5||4||8|
|Provision of good quality childcare for children under 10||5||8||1|
|Giving priority to families, for housing provision||5||4||2|
|A year's paid maternity leave||4||4||11|
|More frequent public transport||2||5||10|
|Putting money into play provision for children under 10||2||4||3|
|None of these||2||2||7|
Q6 Thinking about life in your local community, from this list which, if any, do you think would improve your and your family's lives on a day-to-day basis?
|More police on the streets||56|
|Bringing in a 20mph speed limit on residential roads||34|
|Lowering the cost of leisure facilities||26|
|Affordable after-school activities||25|
|Cheaper public transport||24|
|Collection of / More frequent collection of street litter / Road sweeping||23|
|More frequent public transport||21|
|Parks wardens and maintenance of parks||21|
|Being consulted on developments in your local area||20|
|Holiday play schemes||18|
|Redesigning local roads to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, rather than motorists||17|
|Increasing availability of / access to leisure facilities||16|
|Improved street lighting||14|
|Having family members to call on for support||10|
|Local crèche provision, e.g. in shopping centres||10|
|None of these||3|
Q7a 'Family support services' is a phrase which people use to describe a wide range of different services which help families as their children grow up. Which, if any, of these have you personally ever used?
Q7b And which, if any, would you personally consider using now, regardless of whether or not you have used them before?
Q7c And which, if any, would you not consider using?
| ||Ever Used||Would consider||Not consider|
|Parent and toddler playgroups||43||26||17|
|Parent education classes||7||19||25|
|Parent support groups e.g. National Childbirth Trust||7||12||28|
|Parent drop-in centres||5||14||28|
|Sure Start, that is a government scheme to help parents with children under 5||4||15||24|
|Home Start, that is a befriending scheme from parents, for parents with children under 5||2||12||27|
|Newpin, that is a scheme for parents with infant children that provides support such as play groups and counselling, and is run by professionals||1||14||25|
|None of these||29||50||62|
Q8a Which, if any, of these ways of obtaining information about parenting and family support…? Do you currently personally find useful?
Q8b Would you personally find useful, that you do not use at the moment?
Q8c Would you personally not find useful?
| ||Currently find useful||Would find useful||Would NOT find useful|
|Doctor's surgery / Doctor||34||7||3|
|The 'phone, e.g. helplines||8||6||10|
|Information from Government||7||6||8|
|Local services for parents, e.g. parent support groups||5||8||5|
|In-store leaflets or touch screen kiosks||5||5||14|
|The local Children's Information Service||4||9||5|
|None of these||27||30||29|