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Middle Childhood Strategy for the City of Toronto introduced

“Providing parents and families with quality care for their children is one of the most important services the City of Toronto provides.”  Local 79 President, Tim Maguire’s submission to the City’s Community Development and Recreation Committee.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Chair

And Members, Community Development and Recreation Committee

 RE:     CD16.2 – Introducing a Middle Childhood Strategy for the City of Toronto

While I regret I am not able to attend today’s Committee discussions, I submit the following views on behalf of CUPE Local 79 members.

Providing parents and families with quality care for their children is one of the most important services the City of Toronto provides. The only problem is there isn’t enough of it for the thousands of families on waiting lists for child care and out-of-school time programs.

In order to fulfil the vision of Charles’ Pascal’s report, With Our Best Future in Mind:  Implementing Early Learning in Ontario, the City and the Province have been going through a significant amount of change as Full Day Kindergarten for four- and five-year olds is implemented. The transition has not been smooth, and the lack of sustainable funding to manage the change has made the situation very difficult for City families and Children’s Services.

The Middle Childhood Strategy is intended to help parents across the City contend with what is now a patchwork of services for six to 12 year olds for out-of-school-time programs and services.

Many members of CUPE Local 79 work in Children’s Services, and Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Our members deliver the high quality services that parents and families rely on. We support the recommendations put forward by the General Managers of Children’s Services and Parks, Forestry and Recreation for City Council to adopt the Middle Childhood Strategy, and work with the Province of Ontario to secure sustainable funding to stabilize the current After School Recreation Care (ARC) program.

The Middle Childhood Strategy Framework focuses on out-of school time programs that are primarily managed, funded or delivered by Children’s Services and Parks, Forestry and Recreation. The guiding principles of the strategy are sound: to create high quality programming; ensure funding sustainability; support inclusion, access and equity; and, set standards for the regular monitoring and evaluation of programs.

Families in Toronto desperately need expanded, high quality, publicly-delivered services for infants and toddlers, and six to 12 year olds. If the Middle Childhood Strategy coming forward today to the Community Development and Recreation Committee helps to deliver and enhance these services, it will be another progressive development for children, families, neighbourhoods and communities across the City.

 Yours truly,

Tim Maguire, President

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