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Results of first Couch Poll

23 June 2006

Results of first Couch Poll

Almost everyone who responded to the first Families Commission poll believes that learning parenting skills is important and over half would attend a class to gain new information.

The Commission now has almost 2000 people registered as members of its feedback panel (The Couch) which operates via a dedicated website (www.thecouch.org.nz).

This first poll was aimed at parents with children under 18 and just over half of the panel members (1220) responded to the questions which were designed to draw out information on their experiences of parenting education. Three quarters of these members were raising children younger than 10.

One in four admitted they did not feel informed when they first became a parent. Most said they would turn to books, leaflets, magazines, friends and family to gain parenting information. Many would also turn to the internet for information and around 60 percent would seek help from parenting organisations like Plunket and attend parenting classes.

“We are delighted with this response to our first poll,” said the Commission’s Chief Commissioner Rajen Prasad.

“The results confirm our decision to make parenting, and parent education, one of our main work priorities. We were interested to see that the main barriers to attending parenting classes were time, cost and lack of childcare. Only a very few people said they wouldn’t attend because they didn’t want people to think they needed help,” he said.

About half also said that if there was a parenting class in their neighbourhood they would be likely to attend.

The second poll has now been posted. It asks a series of questions around how families keep in touch and what’s important to families when considering whether to move to another country.

“We set up The Couch panel because we want to involve people in the work we do. The Couch gives people an opportunity to give their views and feedback on specific topical issues, and those connected with our main work priorities - parenting, work-life balance and family violence,” said Rajen Prasad.

ENDS

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