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Hand in hand- How the province and municipalities can create the best early learning and child care service system in Ontario

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Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA)
Publication Date: 
1 Mar 2009

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Description: This OMSSA report makes clear that Ontario’s children thrive when served by a comprehensive quality early learning and child care services system that is accountable, sustainable, and flexible. Such a system requires: 1. a commitment to the highest levels of service quality 2. an accountability framework that focuses on successful outcomes for children rather than outputs for service deliverers 3. funding sustainability, stability, predictability, to meet those outcomes 4. flexibility to meet those outcomes in locally appropriate ways In presenting a vision for a sustainable, flexible, and accountable system of quality early learning and child care services, OMSSA emphasizes the need for municipalities and the province to hand in hand to create this system. It is also highlighted that the central service system management role be played by municipalities. The following are the recommendations contained in the report. Service quality Shared accountability Funding sustainability Local flexibility Sustainable funding formulas for this system must be jointly developed by the province and municipalities and must be based on actual local costs of providing care and service. Municipalities must engage the children’s programs and services within their mandate and beyond to develop broad integrated community human service plans.