Southington currently has 17,447 housing units, 16,814 are occupied (96.4%) and of these,1,152 are households with a single parent (14.5%). The number of single parent households in Southington has significantly increased over the decade from 2000 to 2010. Keeping both parents informed about early childhood choices and initiatives is important and challenging. The ECCS believes that further discussion needs to occur about best practices with regard to communicating with all parents, with a focus on single parents. Discussions should occur around the following areas:
- Provide information about early childhood programs to parents and at the time of the programs, provide babysitting so that the parents without childcare may attend.
- Develop a mechanism to identify family needs across disciplines and to ensure that such needs are addressed in a coordinated manner so that each family has access to optimal support.
- Train parent volunteers to become peer mentors to create stronger support systems for families within their neighborhoods, and implement a peer mentor program.
- Consider offering programming for single parents during the day as part of a children's playgroup.