Last week, a colleague of mine forwarded to me a recent ranking conducted by Parents Magazine. It ranked cities by the best place to raise babies. Yes, babies. Why different than kids? Well, they measured services that are specific to babies such as child care, infant health, and activities that you can do with small children (versus school-aged kids).
It was really interesting. And what do you know, Arizona ranked high. Scottsdale came in as the number one city for raising babies, Phoenix number 7 â€“ and Phoenix suburbsÂ Mesa (no 11), Gilbert (no 14) and Chandler (no 17) rounded out the top 20. Not bad. But why do we rank so high? Here are blurbs from the Scottsdale and Phoenix rankings (the full ranking can be found here):
1. Scottsdale, Arizona
This western town is far from wild. Scottsdaleâ€™s stellar safety record helped earn it the #1 spot on our list. â€œItâ€™s common to see moms pushing strollers around the neighborhoods, even at night,â€ says police chief Alan Rodbell. â€œOur crime rate is the lowest itâ€™s ever been â€” which is well below the national average â€” so families can enjoy the outdoors.â€
Scottsdale has plenty of recreation space too, with 67 miles of paved trails and 105 miles of bike lanes. There are 22 playgrounds with baby swings, and because of the warm-year-round climate, many also include pop-up fountains. â€œOutsiders think of Scottsdale as a retirement community, but there are a good number of active, health-conscious families here,â€ says Joy Cherrick, founder of the Scottsdale Moms Blog, whose daughter, Reagan, is 14 months. â€œA lot of moms make their own baby food and buy locally, whether itâ€™s produce from the farmersâ€™ market or baby toys from one of the many downtown shops.â€ Plenty of child-care centers and pediatricians, as well as a fairly low unemployment rate (6.4 percent at press time) also make for easy living with a baby.Read more about "More reasons why you should buy a Phoenix home: itâ€™s good for your baby," at MyPhoenixmls.com