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Excerpts form background information website: Toronto First Duty is creating integrated early learning environments and early childhood staff teams. Program fragmentation characterizes existing early childhood programs in Ontario and across Canada. Toronto First Duty will demonstrate what could be possible. Toronto First Duty brings together the three streams of kindergarten, child care and parenting supports into a single program designed to meet the learning needs of children at the same time as it meets the care needs of parents. Through the Toronto First Duty sites parents are able to access the full range of child and family supports available in their community. The three year project (2002 - 2005) will support each site to: - Create a high quality learning environment that combines learning expectations, activities and routines from existing kindergarten, early childhood education/child care and parenting programs. - Develop an early childhood staff team that works together to deliver and achieve program goals. - Form a local governance structure to determine the allocation of resources, service planning and monitoring, and program policies. - Provide seamless access to an expanded and comprehensive early learning and care program providing a continuum of supports and services to all families and children. - Increase parent participation in their children's early learning and development through direct involvement in programs, planning and decision-making. The intent of Toronto First Duty is to demonstrate to policy makers how existing early childhood and family programs can be transformed into a system for children 0 - 6 years. At the end of the three year project, each site will provide a working model. Toronto First Duty supports parents' need for child care whether they are at home and require respite time or are earning or preparing to earn a living. Toronto First Duty provides young children with consistent early learning and development opportunities. Toronto First Duty recognizes mounting scientific evidence that the young children are active learners and that good experiences have a positive impact on later learning, behavior and well-being. Toronto First Duty respects the primary role of parents and other family members and promotes learning opportunities at home.