City Council adopts plan for children's services in Toronto over the next five years

Toronto City Council has approved a Children's Services 2015-2019 Service Plan that sets out a bold new vision for the system of services available to support children and families in Toronto. The services include child care, family-support programs, special-needs services and middle-childhood programs."The new Service Plan tells the story of how the child and family service system has changed, and where it is going over the next five years," said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee. "With the amount of change anticipated, this new plan ensures that the child care system remains stable and responsive to the needs of Toronto's families. It is our goal to work with all levels of government and our service partners to create new spaces and expanded subsidies."The child care system is being transformed across Ontario. Full-day kindergarten and the corresponding before- and after-school programs located in schools have opened up spaces for younger children in child care centres. Meanwhile, new approaches to planning have brought together a range of services into one system that promotes healthy child development, supports families in their caregiver role, and builds strong communities.Demand for child care spaces across Toronto will still exceed supply.Council has approved research funding that will measure demand for child care in order to better plan for growth in the system.The Service Plan will guide the work of Children’s Services around five strategic directions: access to high-quality child care; inclusive support for all families; engagement, partnership and communication; systems change; and leadership. The plan was developed through extensive collaboration with families, service providers, sector experts and community partners.The Children's Services 2015-2019 Service Plan is now available at Council's decision still requires the enactment of a confirmatory bylaw for the plan to take effect. 

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