Ontario Newsroom

40,000 Children and Their Families Lifted Out of Poverty

Archived News Release

40,000 Children and Their Families Lifted Out of Poverty

McGuinty Government Releases Fourth Progress Report on Poverty Reduction

Ontario has helped 40,000 children and their families get out of poverty since 2008, despite a climate of global economic uncertainty.

Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy 2012 Annual Report released today highlights progress made over the last four years in helping children and families emerge from poverty and raise their quality of life. The report contains many encouraging signs of progress, including:

  • Over one million children in 530,000 families are being helped by the Ontario Child Benefit.
  • Almost 122,000 kids are getting a stronger start in about 1,700 schools through full-day kindergarten.
  • Nearly 33,000 children and young people, who may have otherwise gone untreated, are receiving free dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario.
  • An additional 13,000 young people are getting help finding jobs and opportunities through the Youth Action Plan.
  • An estimated 20,000 more children and young people are getting faster and easier access to the right mental health supports with 600 new mental health workers in schools, communities and the courts.

Giving children and young people opportunities to succeed and breaking down barriers for low-income Ontarians are part of the McGuinty government's Breaking the Cycle: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s high school graduation rate increased to 82 per cent in 2010/11 from 68 per cent in 2003/04.
  • The child poverty rate in Ontario declined from 15.2 to 13.8 per cent between 2008 and 2010.
  • The child poverty rate in single mother-led families dropped from 43.7 per cent to 35.6 per cent between 2008 and 2010.
  • A single parent with a young child, working full-time at minimum wage and accessing all available benefits was living above the poverty line in 2012. The same single parent would have been living below the poverty line in 2003.
  • Because Statistics Canada data lags by 18 months, the 2012 Annual Report shows progress on income-based indicators for 2009 and 2010 — the first two years of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our government's ground-breaking Poverty Reduction Strategy is even more important to Ontario families during times of economic downturn. I am proud that our government’s efforts are helping children, youth and families in communities across our province. We will continue to work with our partners in our shared fight against poverty. By investing in our children and their families, we are building a stronger Ontario.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Children and Youth Services

Media Contacts



Business and Economy Education and Training Home and Community Jobs and Employment Law and Safety Rural and North Taxes and Benefits Children and Youth Parents