|Updated October 2008|
Over the years, a strong partnership has developed between Employment and Social Services (ESS) and Toronto Children’s Services (TCS) to the benefit of our mutual clients needing child care to pursue their approved Ontario Works (OW) service plan goals.
When referring clients to Children’s Services, ESS staff make LEAP mandatory clients (16 and 17 years of age) a top priority.
The other priorities are:
|Priority 1:||Placement for clients with or obtaining employment|
Placement for the following activities:
Placement on a “first come, first served” basis for the following activities:
|NOTE: The Priority 3 list will be revisited on a regular basis or at any other time in response to changes in available subsidized spaces|
It is anticipated that the demand from OW clients for child care subsidies may outweigh the supply. It is therefore recommended that, in addition to continuing to refer to Children’s Services, local office staff both research and provide child care options in their geographical area for parents participating or planning to participate in OW activities.
Options may include “no fee” programs at community or local recreation centres. Some agencies may offer child care services while parents participate in educational activities. In addition, ESS is an active participant in the ‘Strong Neighbourhoods’ initiative and is partnering with TCS and Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R) to provide innovative after-school programs for 6-12 year olds in the thirteen priority neighbourhoods: After School Recreation Care (ARC). Eligible OW parents can access the program via a caseworker referral to Children’s Services. The PF&R ‘Welcome’ policy may also partially help parents outside the school year.
ESS Caseworkers will continue to refer all eligible clients to Children’s Services. It is the ESS Caseworkers’ responsibility to determine the appropriateness of the client’s employment-related activity and must ensure that the information regarding that activity is maintained and updated on their current Participation Agreement.
Child Care Brokers will continue to accept ESS referrals. Effective April 2, 2007 they will place OW dependent children according to the ESS priority list.
It is anticipated that through priority setting, attrition and case circumstances, and with continuing collaboration and communication between ESS and TCS, child care spaces will continue to be available to OW parents.