More Special Needs Services and Supports for Children and Youth
Ontario Invests in New Children’s Treatment Centre to Better Support Kids and Families
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Oakville today to open a new facility at ErinoakKids, Ontario's largest children's treatment centre for children and youth with special needs. The new ErinoakKids facility, along with two additional new buildings in Mississauga and Brampton, will double the centre's space and provide more care to children and youth in Ontario with special needs.
The three new facilities will consolidate 10 existing spaces into modern, state-of-the-art buildings, making it easier for families to access the care they need, minimize travel and ease the anxiety of finding the right place for the right care. ErinoakKids helps more than 16,000 children and youth living with physical, intellectual, developmental, and communication disabilities, including autism, every year.
Children, youth and their families will benefit from more responsive and coordinated services, including stimulating therapeutic playrooms and multi-sensory rooms, an audiology area for hearing aid fitting and dispensing, a family resource centre to support parents and caregivers, and a youth drop-in.
The government is also investing more than $300 million in new funding over three years to add 2,000 new teachers, specialized support staff and education workers to help eliminate wait lists for special education assessments, as well as an additional $62 million in the Ontario Autism Program.
Making sure children and youth with special needs can get the right supports to reach their full potential is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.
- Ontario has invested $163 million in the construction of the three new ErinoakKids facilities in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton.
- In 2017–18, the province invested $630 million in programs and services for children and youth with special needs and their families.
- The $62 million toward autism supports in Budget 2018 is in addition to the more than $500 million over five years already provided to expand and improve services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- To improve special education services in schools and eliminate waitlists for assessments, Ontario is investing more than $300 million in new funding over three years.
- Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy is helping children and youth with special needs get the services they need at home, at school, in the community and as they transition to adulthood.
- As part of the Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion over three years to expand services for adults living with developmental disabilities.
“When children or youth with special needs get access to the best supports, their well-being and independence skyrocket. It’s so important that their parents can conveniently access that care when they need it. Our government’s investment in ErinoakKids’ three new, state-of-the-art facilities in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton is about getting families the right care where and when they need it. It’s making it easier for families to access the excellent support ErinoakKids provides to thousands of children and families every year.”
“We want to give all children in Ontario the best care possible. With support from our government, ErinoakKids can now provide continuous, coordinated services that families can access close to home. Having facilities where families can rely on consistent services, spaces that are safe, accessible and in good condition, is a top priority for our government.”
“The province’s role is to help make it easier for people to access the services they need to live life to the fullest. Helping ErinoakKids consolidate from 10 locations to three gives families better access to critical services for children and youth with special needs, close to home. I hope these new facilities will serve ErinoakKids well as it continues its legacy of incredible services to our communities.”
“With this new world-class facility in Oakville, ErinoakKids will be able to provide the children and families who come here with easier access to services, and continue to improve the work they do preparing children and youth for better futures.”
“The opening of ErinoakKids’ new Halton facility is a game-changer for children and youth with disabilities and special needs in the community. This treatment centre represents a new model of service built on a single point of care for families who are often faced with the burden of travelling to multiple locations for services. Children with complex needs now have access to expanded services and programs under one roof in a space designed for them that we know will better support their growth and development.”