The indicators included in the data portal were informed by a framework developed by British Columbia’s Child and Youth Well-Being Indicators Project. This project identified 51 child and youth indicators across the five dimensions of their framework. DCYPN has reported on 30 of these indicators and will be working towards gathering data on the remaining 21 indicators.
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Physical Health & Well-Being
Physical health and well-being includes, but goes beyond, the absence of disease. Core markers of child physical health and well-being include healthy starts (breastfeeding, immunizations, prenatal care and no exposure to alcohol in utero); healthy weight; good eating and sleeping habits; accessible preventive dental care; and screening for developmental, vision and hearing problems. A sense of vitality; opportunities for recreational activities, physical fun and challenges; and access to traditional food sources are also essential. Sub dimensions of health also include injury prevention and safe environments, including access to clean air.
Mental and Emotional Health & Well-Being
Mental and emotional health and well-being is indicated by the presence of personal characteristics such as optimism, positive self-worth, emotional well-being and stability, and perceived safety and security. Children’s mental and emotional health and well-being also includes self-regulating abilities such as coping with challenges and stress, goal directedness and an orientation toward the future. As well, it encompasses a capacity for connectedness with other people and with one’s culture and community. In addition, freedom from anxiety and depression, early diagnosis and access to mental health treatments are essential to children’s mental and emotional health and well-being.
Social relationships with parents, peers, teachers, coaches, etc. are key components of child health and well-being. Such relationships are close, trusted, warm, caring, accepting, affirming and reciprocal. Opportunities for belonging and inclusion in affirming family, peer, school and cultural networks and for engaging in meaningful community actions with others are also central to this dimension. Spiritual connections through religious or personal experiences may also be important for child health.
Economic & Material Well-Being
Economic and material well-being includes access to nutritious food, adequate housing and warm clothing. It also includes access to medicines and health care, the availability of computer technology to enhance learning, and the availability of team sports and extra-curricular and recreational activities to encourage and promote healthy friendships. Access to green space, ancestral territories, cultural activities and libraries are also considered central to healthy lifestyles and child well-being.
Cognitive development refers to how children perceive, think about and gain understanding of their world. Important aspects of cognitive development include the acquisition of age appropriate reading, writing and numeracy skills, as well as decision-making, critical-thinking, problem-solving and self-regulatory learning skills. Another key facet of this dimension is the ability to communicate needs and wants in a socially appropriate manner. From a child’s perspective, learning that engages, interests, excites, inspires and also prepares him or her for healthy living and meaningful work may be the most important aspect of an effective education. Equity in the accessibility of learning opportunities from preschool to college—for both formal schooling and extra-curricular activities like art, music and sports—is also crucial. Age Span Infancy Preschool Childhood Adolescence Emerging Adults 11 Child and Youth Health and Well-Being Indicators Project: CIHI and B.C. PHO Joint Summary Report.