Readiness for success

The #UNIGNORABLE issue

Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. When kids grow up emotionally and socially healthy, it carves the way for a brighter future, benefiting our entire community. A child’s future health, learning, and behaviour begin to develop in their early years, so failure to reach developmental milestones—such as the ability to communicate, regulate emotions, and maintain relationships—can have long-term effects on a child’s confidence and competency to succeed.

It’s critical that kids have healthy coping skills, strong family or social connections, and proper opportunities to learn. Otherwise, it makes it hard for them to handle challenges in school, manage their health, pursue their dreams, and meet their full potential.

United Way invests in programs that support kids and youth to develop the skills they need to thrive and make emotionally healthy social connections. Our early childhood investments help young children develop the ability to communicate, regulate emotions, maintain relationships, and develop a sense of belonging in their families, schools, and wider communities. As they grow older, they are supported through investments that help youth develop a sense of identity, create career goals, adopt a value system, and develop deeper relationships. These comparatively small investments in childhood yield lifetime societal benefits.

Approximately 1 in 4 kindergarten-aged children in Calgary are experiencing challenges in one or more key developmental areas (physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and thinking skills, and communication skills).

In a 2013 survey conducted in Alberta, 27.2% of children experienced abuse and 49.1% experienced family dysfunction before the age of 18. Children who experienced both abuse and family dysfunction had the highest risk for negative health outcomes in adulthood. Almost 50% of the risk for poor adult health outcomes could be attributed to these adverse childhood experiences.

A hand holds up a sign that reads ``Together we can solve #unignorable issues.``

Help solve this issue

Find out how you can take action today to help solve issues like this.

Take action
Chase and Nadine read a book on a couch in a library.

Changing local lives

Meet local kids developing themselves towards success, like Chase and Nadine.

Read their stories
soakleyReadiness for Success