To find out if the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is right for you, call Toronto Public Health or speak with a Public Health Nurse through eChat for more information.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) is a free home-visiting program that supports you and your family with:
- having a healthy pregnancy
- developing a positive relationship with your child
- promoting your child’s growth and development
- connecting you to resources and programs within your community
- working together to give your child the best start in life
The HBHC program is free, voluntary and you do not need an OHIP card in order to receive service.
If you live outside the Toronto area and are interested in the HBHC program please contact your Local Public Health Unit.
Who Is Eligible
The HBHC program provides services to families in the prenatal period and to families with children in their early years (birth up until a child’s third birthday). Children can enter the HBHC program up until their third birthday.
You may be eligible to receive HBHC services if you are
- living in Toronto
- pregnant or recently had a baby or are parenting a child who is 0 to three years old
- the legal guardian of the child(ren)
- actively parenting the child(ren) in the family’s place of residence
- and available for home visits during our hours of operation.
You must also meet one or more of the following. If you are:
- a newcomer to Canada, here less than three years and having your first baby in Canada
- concerned about or have questions about your child’s growth and development and behaviours
- feeling alone with very few or no support from family or friends
- experiencing or have a history of a physical and/or mental health illness (e.g. depression, anxiety) that is making your pregnancy or parenting your child challenging
- a first time or experienced parent with questions about parenting and building a healthy relationship with your child
- facing challenging life situations such as homelessness, domestic violence, no OHIP
Those eligible for the program will receive long term home visiting from a Public Health Nurse and Family Home Visitor.
We will work together to support you with:
Home Visiting During COVID-19: What to Expect
Screening for COVID-19
Your public health nurse or family home visitor will:
- Conduct a self-assessment every day prior to any home visits to ensure they are feeling well and have no cough, fever or symptoms of respiratory illness.
- Contact you to cancel any home visits if they are not well.
- Conduct a telephone screening 24 hours prior to your home visit to ensure you and your family members are feeling well.
- Conduct a telephone or in person screening of you and your family members to ensure you are well before entering your home.
- You and your family can also do your own self-assessments, see the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment questionnaire on the Ministry of Health website.
During the Home Visit
- Your nurse or family home visitor will wear a face mask at all times during the home visit.
- You and any family members present at the home visit will be required to wear a face mask at all times during the home visit.
- If you do not have a mask, your nurse or family home visitor can provide you with one.
- Children under the age of 2 do not require a mask.
- Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. The nurse/family home visitor, you, and any other family members present, should keep a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from each other during the visit.
- You can help with physical distancing by:
- Making sure any family members who will not be participating in the home visit are in another room.
- Helping to ensure that only one service provider is present during the home visit, avoid booking appointments with other service providers at the same time.
- To prevent infections, it is important for everyone to maintain proper hand hygiene. This means washing hands frequently with soap and water and if unable to wash your hands, using a 70% alcohol hand sanitizer.
- Remember hand sanitizer only works if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Shoe Coverings (optional)
- To decrease the spread of germs, your nurse or family home visitors may wear shoe coverings during the entirety of the home visit.
- The shoe coverings will be disposed of at the end of the home visit.
Toys, Equipment and Other Items
- For home visiting activities that require using toys or other items, the nurse of family home visitor will use items you have in the home if possible.
- If the nurse or family home visitor needs to bring items into your home, it will be properly disinfected prior to the home visit.
- Any items that are disposable will be used only once and discarded.
For more information on COVID-19.
Download this information as a PDF.