Kids Connection

by Mary Cotton

Today more than sixty percent of all Canadian mothers work outside the home. However, because of a lack of public funding, many parents are unable to find suitable, affordable day care for their children. As a result, many school age children are left unsupervised each day after school until their parents arrive home from work. A Statistics Canada report suggests that this applies to over seventy percent of school age children with working parents.

Drs. Long and Long, a Washington D.C. research team, believe that many of these children suffer to one degree or another. The two main areas of concern are loneliness and fear. Very few children tell their parents of their fears. They feel that their parents have enough to worry about without having to worry about them as well. But children are not the only ones to suffer; their parents suffer too. They feel guilty about leaving their children alone and constantly worry about them.

Kids' Connection operates to help relieve the stress of latchkey children and their parents. There is always an adult ready to talk to the lonely, frightened, or bored child. Their "warm line" telephone services makes it easy for a child to reach out when in need. Qualified staff is available at lunch time, after school, and during the school holidays.

Kids' Connection is Canada's first telephone counseling service for latchkey children.

They hold children's discussion groups that help the child to develop self-confidence. Their parent support services offer information on such topics as child development, parenting techniques, and the special needs of the working parent. The number for Kids Connection is 698-0304. Maybe you should give it a call.

(Reprinted from Step and Company, the newsletter of the Secretarial Training Employment Program).

Mary Cotton is a recent graduate of the STEP program and is happily employed in a half-way house. She successfully completed her work placement at CCLOW this year.

Photo: Health and Welfare Canada


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