Harris government commits over $331,000 to support kids

Archived Release

Harris government commits over $331,000 to support kids

TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Tina Molinari, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Children, today announced that over $331,000 from the Harris government's Early Years Challenge Fund will go to support Ontario's children and families. Today's Parent Group will receive a $331,300 grant to develop and launch the multi-media Play Series information tool. Play Series will provide parents, caregivers and health professionals with information on the importance of activity-based and problem-solving learning for young children.
"I am here to congratulate Today's Parent Group for participating in this new initiative," said Molinari. "Their proposal for funding through the Early Years Challenge Fund is innovative and demonstrates a real desire to support children and families in those critical first six years."
Launched in December 2000, Ontario's Early Years Challenge Fund matches contributions made by businesses, and volunteer and charitable groups for new programs that will help parents give their children the best possible start in life. Through community partnerships, the Harris government funds new programs that are aimed at helping children during their first six years of life -- the most important time to develop the skills needed to achieve their full potential through the rest of their lives.
"We are excited by this opportunity to reach virtually every family in Ontario through our multi-media Play Series," said Rosemary Sinclair, Sales Manager, Today's Parent Magazine. "There is growing enthusiasm in support of early child development. The Early Years Challenge Fund is giving our organization the opportunity to partner and provide up-to-date, practical information to parents, doctors, hospitals and family resource centres at a time of critical importance in our young children's learning."
Play Series includes booklets, posters and a web site. The booklets will be distributed in over 650,000 copies of Today's Parent Group magazines. Combined with poster distribution and web site exposure, this project is expected to reach millions of families throughout Ontario.

Minister Responsible for Children


Early Years Challenge Fund

Ontario's Early Years Study, commissioned by Premier Mike Harris and co- authored by Dr. Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain, demonstrated the critical importance of investing in a child's early years. The study recommended that the government provide a fund to help communities create successful early years programs. The government embraced these findings and is implementing the Early Years Challenge Fund, a key commitment to provide early years programs for children and families across Ontario.
Through this fund, the government is challenging private sector, not-for- profit and other partners to develop collaborative and creative initiatives to support children and families. The main objective of the Early Years Challenge Fund is to build capacity in communities to develop local early years programs so that all families in Ontario can help their children reach their full potential. The government's contribution this year will grow by $15 million on top of the $15 million allocated last year.
This initiative brings together a wide range of groups to develop proposals. These groups are required to come forward with their own contributions, both financial and in-kind, to be matched by the government on a 50:50 basis.
The Harris government invited groups to put forward proposals for province-wide projects in January 2001. A request for community-specific projects will be made this summer.

Today's Parent Group

Today's Parent Group will use its Early Years Challenge Fund grant to develop Play Series, a multi-media early years and parenting information tool. This project will include the distribution of information booklets in over 650,000 copies of Today's Parent Group magazines, poster distribution and web site exposure. The project is expected to reach millions of families throughout Ontario.
Today's Parent Group worked with community partners including Children's Own Museum in Toronto to develop Play Series.
The Harris government is proud to support this initiative as it continues to lead the nation in promoting and supporting all young children in their early years.

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For further information: on Ontario's Early Years Challenge Fund visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS or http://www.childsec.gov.on.ca; Or Call Bruce Weinert, Tina Molinari's office, (416) 325-5249; Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5215