Investing In A Lifetime Of Success For Children
McGuinty Government Providing $1.3 Million To Five Counties Children's Centre
The government is investing $1.3 million in the Five Counties Children's Centre to help improve services for children and youth with special needs so that they gain the skills they need to succeed in life, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Building a province with a great quality of life means building a society where people are there for one another," said Premier McGuinty. "How we fund children's services says a lot about how we care for one another -- and that's why we all have to work to ensure that places like the Five Counties Children's Centre get the support they need."
Budget 2007 includes an additional investment of $30 million for services to children with special needs including an additional $4 million to support all Children's Treatment Centres. This is in addition to $10 million announced in the 2006 Budget to provide services to almost 5,000 children and youth with special needs across the province.
"Children may make up only a small part of the population, but they are 100 per cent of our future," said Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal. "I'm grateful that the Five Counties Children's Centre is here to give them a great start in life -- and proud to be here today with the Premier as part of this important investment in Peterborough's future."
"Five Counties Children's Centre appreciates that the government values the importance of accessible treatment space for our families and a quality work environment for our staff," said Diane Pick, Chief Executive Officer of the Five Counties Children's Centre. "This investment will replace aging infrastructure that is not fully accessible and has numerous challenges. The re-development will expand the existing centre and provide enhanced coordination and physical access for all of our programs and services."
Other measures to benefit children include:
- Providing $18 million to more than double the number of children receiving autism intervention services since 2003. This will result in more than 1,100 children receiving these services
- Investing an additional $8 million in annual funding to address gaps in local service needs and reduce wait times for child and youth mental health centres
- Improving supports for at-risk families with children with an investment of over $5 million
- Supporting new child care spaces by providing $25 million this year, rising to $50 million annually in 2008-09 and
- Introducing a new Ontario Child Benefit, which would provide $2.1 billion in benefits cumulatively over the first five years.
"Children's Treatment Centres help deliver services that are all about providing children and their families with a better life," said Premier McGuinty. "Our focus on expanding opportunities is about making sure that everyone in Ontario gets the chance to reach their full potential. That's how we build a stronger province -- by working and building and dreaming together."