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Toronto report card on children 2003, Volume 5

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City of Toronto
government document
Publication Date: 
3 Feb 2004

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Link to report no longer available

Excerpts from report: This 5th edition of the Toronto report card on children measures the health and well-being of children using a variety of social indicators. Changes in the condition of children over time are monitored to ensure that targets for improvement are developed and adequate resources are allocated to allow every child, regardless of their circumstance, to thrive and grow. This report follows the framework laid out in the original 1999 report, where indicators are developed based on the following determinants of child health and well-being: economic security, health, readiness to learn, Safety and Positive Parenting. The use of a variety of social indicators allows us to monitor the situation of children, and to determine whether this situation is stable, improving or getting worse. ...Quality child care is an important cornerstone of healthy child development. The licensed child care system is clearly under stress. The fiscal restraint not only affects the accessibility of services but also adversely affects two of the known factors of quality child care: well-trained and well-paid staff. The answer to improving the quality of child care, including better wages and more trained staff, does not lie in increased user fees. The current system is already divided between people who are well off enough to afford the fees and the low-income families that meet the stringent eligibility criteria for subsidized child care. The benefits of licensed, quality child care remain largely inaccessible to a large proportion of children in middle-income, working families. In the short term, the progress towards a more accessible system that can benefit all that wish to access it lies in: - updating the subsidy eligibility criteria to reflect urban reality - restoring and enlarging the number of subsidized spaces - increasing and equitably distributing wage subsidies - repairing the child care infrastructure - adequately funding the cost of quality child care - monitoring and publishing information on quality of service.