Our interim Service Plan Progress Report (June 2017) highlights where we are at in achieving the goals set out in the Service Plan.

 

The Service Plan is a Council approved document that guides the planning and delivery of early learning and child care services for children and families in Toronto.  The plan sets strategic directions and actions for 5 years (2015 to 2019).

Thank you to the over 3,000 families, service providers and other community partners who contributed to the development of this plan.

Access to high-quality child care

What does this mean?
Families have access to affordable, available, and high-quality early learning and child care services.

Priorities

  • Develop a 10 year child care growth strategy for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Continue the design and/or construction of 17 new child care centres across the city
  • Continue to increase the number of non-profit and public spaces for infants and toddlers
  • Continue to increase before-and-after school spaces through collaboration with TDSB and TCDSB.
  • Review feasibility and implications of a risk-based approach to assess quality in licensed child care

Inclusive support for all families

What does this mean?
Supports and services meet the unique needs of all Toronto families.

Priorities

  • Work with the Aboriginal Advisory and Planning Committee and the Indigenous community to develop a service plan that increases access to early years programs for Indigenous families
  • Improve ability to monitor services provided through the Every Child Belongs model by reviewing and improving existing service data
  • Address quality and pedagogy within the French language child care sector through professional learning opportunities
  • Build partnerships with organizations serving newcomer families to improve access to child care fee subsidies

Engagement, partnerships and communication

What does this mean?
Strong partnerships, ongoing engagement, and communication result in planning processes that respond to the diverse needs of children, families, and service providers.

Priorities

  • With Toronto Public Health, pilot a child engagement initiative to increase the voice of children in planning and decision-making
  • Develop new opportunities for parent engagement, including targeted approaches for Indigenous families, LGBTQ2S families and families of trans or gender independent children, newcomer families, and families of children with special needs
  • Launch the new planning structure of the Toronto Child and Family Network, including four new integrated working tables that bring together key leaders to improve key elements of wellbeing for children and families in Toronto (informed by Raising the Village data)
  • Develop new online service platform for families applying for and receiving child care fee subsidies

Systems change

What does this mean?
The child and family system is modernized in a way that works best for Toronto.

Priorities

  • Launch Toronto’s new model for funding licensed child care centres and develop a new home child care funding model to simplify, streamline and improve equity of child care funding in Toronto
  • Together with families, service providers, community partners and other stakeholders, develop a phased-in plan for implementing Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFC) in Toronto
  • Continue to expand online services and supports for child care operators provided through the new Operator’s Portal

Leadership

What does this mean?
All orders of government, municipal and community partners contribute to the well-being of children and families.

Priorities

  • Inform the National Early Learning and Child Care Multilateral Agreement and the revised provincial early years framework to ensure that the needs of Toronto families and the child care system are reflected
  • Continue to build partnerships with the federal and provincial governments to expand and improve access and affordability of child care in Toronto, including communicating the level of investments required
  • Develop an integrated, ‘one-window’ approach to make it easier for parents to access information about child care fee subsidies, Ontario Works, and rent-geared-to-income supports
  • Continue to expand the Raising the Village initiative by identifying and addressing existing gaps in data and by expanding awareness of its ability to inform the planning to improve child and family wellbeing
  • In partnership with OISE, implement the third year of the longitudinal study that measures the impact of receiving fee subsidy on families and their children

 

Access to high-quality child care

What does this mean?
Families have access to affordable, available, and high-quality early learning and child care services.

Priorities

  • Review the methodology used to determine the distribution of child care fee subsidies and ensure that the principles of age and geographic equity are effectively applied
  • Encourage and expedite the development of new child care spaces for infants and toddlers based on the division’s Capital Strategy included in the 2015-2019 Service Plan
  • Increase the number of middle childhood programs

Inclusive support for all families

What does this mean?
Supports and services meet the unique needs of all Toronto families.

Priorities

  • Strategically align need for chid care with poverty reduction initiatives
  • Increase and simplify access to child care for Aboriginal families (including the implementation of an Aboriginal self-identification policy)
  • Establish partnership opportunities with newcomer and LGBTQ organizations
  • Complete a business enhancement review of the Every Child Belongs model of special needs services
  • Increase access and quality for French-language families by establishing a joint planning process with French School Boards

Engagement, partnerships and communication

What does this mean?
Strong partnerships, ongoing engagement, and communication result in planning processes that respond to the diverse needs of children, families, and service providers.

Priorities

  • Develop new models of engaging families
  • Modernize online supports for service providers

Systems change

What does this mean?
The child and family system is modernized in a way that works best for Toronto.

Priorities

  • Present new child care funding model to Council for approval
  • Implement Provincial Wage Enhancement Grant

Leadership

What does this mean?
All orders of government, municipal and community partners contribute to the well-being of children and families.

Priorities

  • Implement joint planning structure with school boards
  • Report on child and family well-being indicators
  • Advance human services integration together with other City divisions

The 2015-2019 Service Plan was driven by community priorities. Throughout the development of the Service Plan, more than 3,000 diverse stakeholders and community partners provided meaningful input through many engagement initiatives. From the outset of the planning process, Children’s Services worked to ensure that their priorities and perspectives shaped the Service Plan, including the new strategic directions for the next five years.

Three parallel initiatives were used to engage stakeholders:

  • Let’s Talk Child Care campaign engaged families through in-person “parent summits”, as well as telephone and online surveys
  • A broader stakeholder engagement strategy with diverse stakeholders including: children, newcomers, LGBTQ families, advocacy groups, academics, child care and family support providers, school boards, and other partners. The results of our stakeholder engagement activities included
    • Results of Stakeholders Engagement towards Children’s Services 2015 – 2019 Service Plan
    • Plan de service 2015 – 2019 des Services à l’enfance de Toronto résultats de la participation des intervenants
  • An independent engagement process with the Aboriginal community

For a copy of any of these reports, please email childcare@toronto.ca


The engagement strategy included sessions with:

  • Children
  • Families
  • Newcomer families
  • LGBTQ-led families & families of trans or gender independent children
  • Advocacy & women’s organizations
  • Academics & local experts
  • The Toronto Child and Family Network
  • Child care service providers
  • French-language service providers
  • Family support practitioners
  • Toronto Children’s Services staff
  • City Divisions, agencies, boards, & commissions
  • School boards