Parks departments are using data to support a number of key areas, including programming decisions for young children. Parks and their related programming provide significant opportunity to their local communities. Opportunity in that they provide valuable, high-impact services that improve the lives of the people they serve.
We know that the collection of data to inform programming can be a significant challenge to parks departments. Even harder is the engagement of families of young children. While parks often have count data to inform their use of facilities and programs, there is a need for parks departments to continually use data to proactively plan for and address the needs of their communities.
In response to this continual challenge, the Early Learning Alliance Network distributed the 2017 survey on parks programs to better understand the early childhood offerings from a local Parks Department. The survey was distributed through the Early Learning Alliance Network and its partners. The survey asked ten critical questions that could empower Parks Directors to offer programs that engage families of young children. While only engaging a small sample of families the survey provided some insight to focus conversations and continual engagement of families of young children. See the full report of our pilot survey for parks programming for young children in the Early Learning Alliance Network resource library.