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September 22, 2006
City, schools step up to open new child care centre
At a ceremony today, Mayor David Miller and Oliver Carroll, Chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, joined students and other invited guests to officially open the St. Jude Early Learning Centre. This centre, developed as part of Toronto’s Best Start plan, will offer licensed child care for 40 pre-school children.

The provincial Best Start strategy, first announced in November 2004, is a 10-year plan designed to give Ontario’s children the best start in life. It will help them achieve success in school by providing a comprehensive system of services that supports children aged 0 to 6 years and their families. In Toronto, an extensive network of partners is collaborating to bring a patchwork of services for children together into a system that works for Toronto’s families.

“This new centre represents a head start for the children enrolled here,” said Mayor Miller. “This kind of head start is possible because of the shared vision of the City, the school boards, the community and our many other Best Start partners, who all share a commitment to children. It’s a terrific example of what is possible when we all work together to put children first.”

The location of the centre within St. Jude Catholic School follows the Best Start vision of offering parents a seamless network of services for families and children. St. Jude is one of 58 Best Start sites either open or in development, which will offer 1,826 new licensed child care spaces across Toronto. Thirty-nine of these sites are located in Toronto Catholic District School Board schools.

“The TCDSB is proud to be a partner in this effort to provide quality care for the children in our schools and neighbourhoods,” said Oliver Carroll, Chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. “Our schools exist to support and nurture the development of children. It is up to all of us as partners in education and child care to provide them with safe and stimulating learning environments that will give them a strong foundation in their formative years so that they can develop to their full potential. I thank the City of Toronto for the leadership they have taken in this important effort, and congratulate the many partners who have played a vital role in bringing the Best Start vision to fruition.”

Members of the Toronto Best Start Network include Toronto Children’s Services, Toronto Public Health, all Toronto school boards, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Education, and community partners. Each member shares a commitment to working “together for our children.”

“We all want the best for our children,” said Ronald Marion, Chair of the Conseil scolaire de district du centre-Sud-Ouest. “This is why we attach so much importance to the development and continuity of the Best Start initiative. We have already begun planning phases 2 and 3 of this ambitious program, which will have a huge positive impact on our children both now and in the future.”

The Toronto Catholic District School Board educates close to 90,000 students from diverse cultures and language backgrounds in its 201 Catholic elementary and secondary schools, and serves 470,375 Catholic school supporters across the City of Toronto.

Media contacts:

Stuart Green
Office of Mayor David Miller

Mary Jo Deighan
Toronto Catholic District School Board

Claire Francoeur
Conseil scolaire de district du centre-Sud-Ouest
416-614-5913 (bureau)
416 459-4993 (cellulaire)

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti
Ward 7 York West

Councillor Janet Davis
Ward 31 Beaches-East York
Council Lead for Children



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