Middle Childhood Matters is a major community investment initiative of United Way of the Lower Mainland. United Way is committed to reducing the level of vulnerability in children age 6 to 12 in the Lower Mainland. Over the next few years this will translate into funding for programs and services that serve children 6 to 12.

As a part of this initiative, United Way funded groundbreaking research by UBC Professor Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Ph.D. Middle Childhood Inside and Out: The Psychological and Social World of Children 9 to 12. The research provides a first look at children’s experiences both in and out of school of children during the middle childhood years. The findings will help to guide investment throughout the Lower Mainland.

Children today live in a different world than in previous generations and there are some core reasons for focusing on children in their middle years:

  • Middle child represents a unique and critical developmental period in the life span in which important competencies are developed.
  • A significant number of children experience mental health problems that emerge during the middle childhood years.
  • In Canada, a significant number of children in these years have been identified as being “at risk” for poor present and long term outcomes.
  • Changes in family composition, mobility, and parental employment has led to decreases in the family and community support available to children than in previous decades.

The United Way Lower Mainland would like to hear your views about this study and solutions to the challenges children face. Please use the links on the right to read more and enter your comments.