Using creative means to communicate, children explain to parents what they need to be happy and healthy when Roscommon CYPSC launched findings from their extensive consultation process with children.
The Healthy and Happy Volcano poster was an outcome of a consultation process undertaken to find out the needs of children within the Roscommon area. The poster was developed to act as an easy reminder for parents on what keeps their children happy and healthy.
The consultations took place in six Preschools in the County. In total, 15 consultation sessions took place involving 120 children aged 3 ½ - 4 years with support from the early years staff. The theme of the consultation was
‘What do young children in County Roscommon think would help them to live healthier, happier and more active lives?’
Some of the findings included:
- Children need hugs and cuddles from grownups who care about them
- Children need to spend time with Mammy and/or Daddy having fun
- Children need to drink lots of water and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
At the launch of the consultation findings the Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon opened the event and said,
"If we are to provide younger children with the standard of services that they deserve, we have to listen to what they have to say. We also have to be ready to challenge ourselves to take what they say on board. This work is a great example of how this can be achieved".
Those attending the launch event also heard about research carried out with parents in County Roscommon about what their needs are. The main findings from this research were that parents need
- support on breastfeeding and promoting healthy eating
- more playgrounds to encourage physical activity
- more parent and toddler groups in the County and
- support for those who are isolated.
Speaking at the event Dr. Phil Jennings, Director of Public Health and National Lead Healthy Childhood Policy Priority Programme, Health Service Executive said,
“Our early childhood experiences help develop our capacity to learn, get along with others and to respond to daily stresses and challenges. A good foundation in the early years makes a difference through adulthood and this is why this work in Roscommon is so important".
Dr. Sheila Garrity Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway who was also speaking at the event, commented
"We are learning all the time what well-being is and how we can preserve it. We are building a compelling evidence base for what works and a huge part of this involves listening to children and what they have to say".
This work will inform the development of the first Health and Well-being Plan for young children in County Roscommon and was made possible with funds from Roscommon Children and Young People’s Services Committee and Healthy Ireland.
To read more about the consultation with children Click here.
To download the Happy and Healthy Volcano Poster Click here.
to read more about Roscommon CYPSC Click here.
To read more CYPSC news Click here.