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Best Start Ministry of Children and Youth Services September, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Start Ministry of Children and Youth Services September, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Start Ministry of Children and Youth Services September, 2005

2 1 Overview of the Best Start Initiative Best Start is a comprehensive, evidence-based early learning and care strategy designed to help give Ontarios children the best possible start in life and help them achieve success in school. Best Start is a major redesign of services in terms of how children and families are supported from birth through to Grade 1. Planning and implementation will be done in phases at the local/community level.

3 2 Impacts for Parents and Children Best Start is a partnership with parents and families. Parents will be engaged in their childs learning and care – which is a critical factor to childrens success in school and healthy development. Parents will be included in decision-making and have a say in how and what is planned for their child. Services will be brought together in a comprehensive, flexible and seamless way so children and parents can access them at a familiar neighbourhood location. Children will acquire the physical, socio-emotional, language, thinking and early literacy skills that are required to arrive at school ready and eager to learn.

4 3 Rationale for Best Start The early years have the most influence of any time in the life cycle on brain development and subsequent learning, behaviours and health. Children who are ready to learn when they start school are more likely to complete school, find employment and make positive contributions to society.

5 4 Rationale for Best Start Society reaps the benefits over many years as those children develop into healthy, educated, confident and productive adults. Investing in children is an investment in Ontarios future. Investing in our youngest children in the first years of their lives leads to the greatest return on our investment.

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7 6 Best Start is distinct from other initiatives in that it: will help parents and families – regardless of individual economic or social circumstances responds to the clear message from communities that Ontario needs more integrated accessible services for young children and families strengthens, enhances, builds on and integrates existing programs and services – rather than creating new structures or organizations

8 7 asks all existing organizations that provide services for children from the prenatal stage through to Grade 1 to share their expertise, and plan together. is community driven: o the types of services and service targets/outcomes are set by the provincial government, but the planning for how those services will be delivered and integrated will be done by the communities.

9 8 Key Features of Best Start At the community level, key features of Best Start are childcare expansion and the establishment of neighbourhood Early Learning and Care Hubs that provide a range of integrated services and supports for families with young children.

10 9 Childrens Treatment Developmental Services Childrens Mental Health Child Welfare Core Functions Screening & Assessment: Communication and Social/Emotional Issues Public Health Nutrition Programs Parenting Programs Child Care Pre-School JK/SK Preschool speech and language Infant Hearing Program Recreation Programs

11 10 Key Strategies of Best Start 1. Establish Best Start Networks responsible for planning and implementing Best Start in their communities. 2. Create neighbourhood Early Learning and Care Hubs that provide integrated services and supports for families with young children. 3. Support flexible implementation strategies that make sense for communities.

12 11 4. Give communities tools to support the planning process. 5. Create an integrated early learning and care program combing preschool, JK and SK with high quality childcare during non-school hours. 6. Create more licensed childcare spaces and assist more families in need with childcare costs.

13 12 7. Improve the quality of regulated and informal early learning and care programs. 8. Enhance early identification and intervention programs. 9. Develop and support universal screening of all children at 18 months. 10. Change policies and practices and remove barriers.

14 13 Best Start Planning and Implementation Best Start is funded and led by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Implementation will take 10+ years and will be accomplished in phases. Some Phase 1 components are province-wide. In Phase 1, each City and District will also establish a Best Start Network to develop Best Start implementation plans for local communities.

15 14 How are we going to get there? Phase 1 (over the next 5 years) has two key components: A major expansion of child care for children enrolled in Junior and Senior Kindergarten across the province during the non-school hours Three demonstration projects that will fast-forward the 10+ year vision. Other components included in Phase 1: Panel on Early Learning Program Panel on Quality and Human Resources Panel on the 18 month well baby check-up Enhancements for Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Restored service levels for Pre-School Speech and Language/Infant Hearing Establishment of the College of Early Childhood Educators Immediate flexibility and eligibility requirements for child care fee subsidies. This includes changes to the eligible hours policy and RRSP/RESP policies Move to a sliding scale income test to determine eligibility for child care Measurement for progress and results using the Early Development Instrument Phase 2 will introduce the 10+ year vision across all communities

16 15 Schools First Policy The goal of Best Start is to help children enter school ready to learn. Hence, schools are seen as the most appropriate sites for child care and early learning and care hubs and the first choice for the expansion of child care space as part of Best Start. If it is determined that child care spaces are not to be located in schools, then the community plan must provide a rationale as to why and describe how programmatic linkages to an elementary school or to a family of schools will be maintained.

17 16 Northern Regional Vision In the North Region, MCYS is taking an approach that will reflect Northern realities and ensure regional consistency in Best Start implementation. For example, it may not be appropriate or effective to have Early Learning and Care Hubs located in every school in every community in the North.

18 17 Role of CMSMs and DSSABs Expanding and enhancing childcare is the first critical task of Phase 1 Best Start implementation. Regulated childcare services are the responsibility of Consolidated Municipal Services Managers (CMSMs) in cities and of District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) in rural areas.

19 18 Role of CMSMs and DSSABs: Given the emphasis on expanding childcare in Phase 1 of Best Start, CMSMs and DSSABs are taking the lead in establishing the Best Start Networks in their areas. Boundaries for Best Start Networks are CMSM/DSSAB boundaries.

20 19 CMSM/DSSAB catchment areas: In _______(city/district), the CMSM/DSSAB catchment area includes: List of communities

21 20 Map of DSSAB/CMSM boundaries.

22 21 Best Start Networks Communities across Ontario, led by CMSMs and DSSABs, will build Best Start Networks to plan and implement Best Start at the local level. Composition of the Networks may vary based on the distinctiveness of the communities. Suggested membership includes:

23 22 Composition of Best Start Networks Parents Parenting programs Early identification and intervention programs District school boards Health and specialized services Income and security programs Population-specific services Early learning and care programs Community services Policymakers

24 23 Phase 1 Implementation Planning Phase 1 is crucial in laying the foundation for the full implementation of Best Start. It involves three tasks at the community level.

25 24 Task 1: Best Start Networks Bring together community partners and parents to establish Best Start Networks. Define and approve Terms of Reference for the Networks.

26 25 Task 2: Childcare Expansion In consultation with Networks, CMSMs/DSSABs will take the lead in: Developing a transition plan to use existing vacant childcare spaces, to increase the number of childcare spaces for families with priority for children in JK/SK and gradual expansion for children aged 0-4. Developing an infrastructure plan for renovations/new spaces.

27 26 Task 2: Childcare Service Plan Requirements Executive Summary Environmental Scan Historical Overview of the Local Child Care System Description of Local Services Assessment of Local Needs Three-Year Forecast of Local Child Care Service Needs Analysis of Gaps/Overloads Childcare fee subsidies Wage subsidies Special Needs resourcing Resource Centres Service priorities Service Management Strategies Analysis of Financial Impact Performance Measures/Data Elements

28 27 Task 3: Integrated implementation plans Describe the communitys needs for early learning and care services. Develop a plan to implement early learning and care hubs. Develop a plan to implement childcare during non-school hours for children in JK/JK and for children 0-4 years for onwards.

29 28 Task 3: Integrated implementation plans Develop an integrated plan to enhance key early identification and intervention programs. Set out the longer term vision to implement Best Start. Identify any challenges and barriers to implementation and strategies to overcome them.

30 29 Implementation Planning Timelines Task 1Sept 30/05 Build Best Start Networks Task 2Oct 31/05 Transition plan to increase licensed childcare spaces and subsidies in 2005/2006 with priority for children in JK/SK with gradual expansion of licensed childcare and subsidies for children aged 0-4. Task 3Dec 31/05 Develop a Phase 1 Integrated Implementation Plan.


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