by Liz Sandals, news.ontario.ca
Ontario is investing nearly $90 million dollars to expand child care and child and family support
programs in schools and create spaces in schools for community use.
As a response to recommendations in Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and
Action Plan, the province committed to supporting the use of schools as community hubs.
Community hubs bring together and integrate a range of needed services under one roof to
better serve their communities. A community hub can be a school, neighbourhood centre or
other public space that houses coordinated services. Ontario's nearly 5,000 schools offer the
ideal location for community hubs, as many of them are the heart of their community and are
As part of today's $90 million investment to further enable the development of community
hubs, the province will provide:
• $20 million to create space for new child care and child and family support programs
through Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres in schools
• $18 million to retrofit existing child care space within a school to open up more spaces
for children under four years old
• $50 million to renovate surplus school space to make it available for use by community
partners and the public
• Expanded eligibility for school capital funding to include building replacement space for
eligible community partners in new schools or additions to existing schools in the event
their original school location is closed.
Ontario is also making it easier for community partners to create community hubs in schools by
expanding the list of public organizations able to purchase or lease surplus school property
before it is placed on the open market. This list will now include Children's Mental Health
Agencies, First Nations and Métis Organizations and others. More time will also be allowed for
organizations to place an offer, allowing greater opportunity for continued use of these
properties by the community.
Improving community access and increasing services offered in schools is part of the
government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number one priority -
growing the economy and creating jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and
skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access
to high-quality college and university education. The plan is also making the largest investment
in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by
innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians
achieve a more secure retirement.