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What is Best Start?

Best Start is a comprehensive early learning and child care initiative designed to give children in Ontario the best possible start in life and greater opportunities for success at school. It is built on a partnership that brings school boards together with municipalities and the provincial and federal governments.

What does Best Start Mean for my Family?

Depending on the needs of the family, child care will be available from birth to 6 years of age. In addition, a range of core programs to support families will be conveniently located at the early learning and child care Hubs.

What is Before and After Child Care?

This is child care for children 3.8 to 12 years offered in the hours before school starts and after school ends.

What is Wrap-Around Child Care?

In addition to the regular Junior and Senior Kindergarten program, "Wrap-Around" child care will provide alternate day programs, so that JK/SK students will be able to attend school five days a week. On days when the child is not attending JK/SK classes, he/she would attend the child care centre located in the school.

What are the Benefits of Wrap-Around Child Care?

  1. High quality child care supports the intellectual, physical, emotional and social well-being of children.
  2. Early learning opportunities in child care make a positive contribution to school readiness and long-term educational success for many children.
  3. Child care in the school setting provides a supportive and secure environment and promotes a continuum of care and learning between child care and school programs.
  4. Families, communities, agencies and all levels of government are important partners with school boards in the provision of child care in the schools.

What is a HUB?

A Hub is a place (usually in a school) where quality education and quality child care co-exist for children 0-6 years. Core services that will be supporting the Hub are nursing, speech and hearing. In addition, the Ontario Early Years Centre (OEYC) will be providing information sessions for families. The community Hub will be linked to all the child cares and schools in the area. Everyone is welcome to attend the Hub.

What is ELF?

ELF means Early Learning Framework. It helps children between the ages of 2.5 and 4 to prepare for school. Through play, children gain age appropriate school readiness skills.

How will Best Start Programs be Delivered?

1. Support for parents through JK/SK wrap-around child care. This means before and after school child care as well as well as on alternate days to the junior and senior kindergarten program five days a week, year round.
2. An early learning program designed for children ages 2.5 to four years of age.
3. Infant and toddler programs are available.
4. There are a number of other core services located at hub sites. These include Healthy Children/Healthy Babies, preschool speech and language, infant hearing, an 18-month Well Baby Check-up, and parent education programs.
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