MPP JOURNAL for the week of January 8, 2021


David Tilson, M.P.P. for Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey

Early Years Challenge Fund

I believe that each of us share a common belief-all of Ontario's children deserve the best possible start in life. In order to have the best possible start, our children need nurturing, protection, love, respect and security. That is who I am excited about our government's recent announcement of a $30 million Early Years Challenge Fund to assist all of Ontario's children in reaching their potential.

Through the Early Years Challenge Fund, announced in early December by the Honourable Margaret Marland, Minister Responsible for Children, our government will match funding raised by communities, and the business, charitable and voluntary sectors, to support local early child development and parenting programs.

Now, Ontario's families will have access to new and enhanced early child development and parenting programs, which meet our local needs. This funding is great news not only for our community, but also for all communities across Ontario.

The Early Years Challenge Fund is a key element of our government's plan to implement the recommendations of the Early Years Study. Commissioned by Premier Mike Harris in 1998, the Study, co-authored by Dr. Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain, provides compelling evidence that the development of the brain in the early years will affect life-long learning, behaviour and health. Our government embraced the Study's findings and is implementing an Early Years Action Plan to bring parents, caregivers, communities, volunteers, business and government together to effectively provide programs and supports for all children and parents.

Communities from across the province, supported by a local Community Co-ordinator, may submit proposals for matching contributions from the Challenge Fund. The main objective of the Fund is to mobilize communities to develop local early child development and parenting opportunities so that all families in Ontario can help their children reach their full potential. Local initiatives must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the community, receive support through cash and in-kind contributions, and must champion the principals of early child development and parenting outlined in the Early Years Study.

I am proud of our Mike Harris government for the leadership role is has taken to support the well being of children and families throughout Ontario. Our children's hope for a future filled with opportunity, health, security and happiness rests with us today. Therefore, I invite and encourage all levels of government and all sectors of our community, including business, charitable and voluntary organizations to join us in a partnership that will fulfil our commitment to children.

If you would like further information regarding Minister Marland's role, or if you have any comments or suggestions on issues related to children, please contact my community office at 1-800-265-1603.

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Community Office
244 Broadway, Orangeville, ON L9W 1K5
Phone: (519) 941-7751   Toll Free: 1-800-265-1603   Fax: (519) 941-3246