The logo for Best Start Brantford Brant

About The Program

Following are the 10 goals the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) has designed to develop and maintain a sustainable holistic child care system in Ontario that will ensure Children in Ontario will be ready and eager to achieve success in school by the time they start Grade 1.

The bullets below outline what Brantford & Brant County are currently doing to meet these goals.

  1. Build on existing children’s services planning groups to establish Best Start networks responsible for planning and implementing Best Start in their communities.
    • In Brantford, the planning group is the Best Start Network, this network is comprised of members from the Brant Early Years Systems Advisory Team, as well as other key community stake holders and parents.
  2. Create neighbourhood early learning and care hubs that provide integrated services and supports for families with young children
    • Building on some of the existing models of Integrated Service Delivery. We will be surveying families to determine what supports are required in the different neighbourhoods within Brantford and Brant County.
  3. Support flexible implementation strategies that make sense for communities (e.g., urban, rural, northern, Francophone, Aboriginal, ethno cultural communities)
    • The Best Start Network will work with all members of our community to determine gaps and requirements to support an inclusive system for families, children and youth.
  4. Give communities tools to support the planning process
    • Brantford/Brant already has determined previous demographic information by utilizing multiple sources, which include Early Development Instrument (EDI). Research to support planning is ongoing.
  5. Create an integrated early learning and care program that combines preschool, JK and SK with high quality, child care during non-school hours
    • Responses to the surveys, along with input from parents and other stakeholders, will help us develop additional licensed child care spaces initially by expanding current capacity through space availability, and in the future, through the creation of new child care spaces.
  6. Create more licensed child care spaces and assist more families in need with child care costs.
    • Responses to the surveys will be the beginning of this process.
  7. Improve the quality of both regulated and informal early learning and care programs in Ontario.
    • In conjunction with the City Of Brantford Child Care plan and the Child Care Advisory we completed a Recruitment and Retention Survey to identify why Early Childhood Educators arhave e leaving the regulated system and identifying was of retaining staff. Staff retention is a key factor in quality of regulated program.
  8. Enhance key early identification and intervention programs.
    • Work with all current community partners to expand our early identification & interventions services such as the Preschool Speech and Language program, Healthy Babies Healthy children program.
  9. Develop and support universal screening of all children at 18 months
    • The ministry has established an Expert Panel on the 18-month well baby visit to identify strategies to promote consistent use of a common developmental record, and to bring parents, doctors/nurses and early years service providers together to talk about children’s development
    • Brantford /Brant will establish its criteria based on this strategy.
  10. Change policies and practices, and remove barriers.
    • Brantford /Brant will review and modify policies and practices based on Ministry recommendations.

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