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January 9, 2003
Action Plan for Children 2003 launched
Councillor Pam McConnell today presented the Action Plan for Children 2003 at
the Community Services Committee. The Action Plan puts forward recommendations
from the Children and Youth Action Committee (CYAC) in the areas of investment,
service planning and advocacy to help improve the health and well-being of
children in Toronto.

"The City has made progress, but we are a long way from achieving the
objectives set out in the City of Toronto's Children's Charter," said
Councillor McConnell, Chair of the Policy Sub-Committee of the CYAC that
oversees the Action Plan. "The Action Plan proposes strategic and achievable
budget investments that will enhance children's services throughout the city.
This is the next step on the path to improve the well-being of Toronto's

The Action Plan responds to the findings of the 2002 Report Card on Children
that identified that the needs of children in Toronto are significant.
Recommendations of the Action Plan cover areas such as Public Health, Parks and
Recreation, Housing, Children's Services, Libraries, service planning and
advocacy. They include:

· expand the number of parenting programs for 1,500 families
· expand prenatal education programming for 1,400 at-risk and high-risk
pregnant women
· expand child nutrition programs
· add 100 new pre-school recreation programs to benefit more than 10,000
· continue support for efforts to create new permanent affordable housing and
transitional housing
· expand child care subsidies by 2,000 spaces in 2003
· expand the Library's Leading to Reading program to 400 children in high needs
areas of the city.

Many factors that contribute to an unstable environment and lead to negative
outcomes for Toronto's children do not fall within the City of Toronto's
jurisdiction. They include the progressive decline in funding for the education
system, and the lack of affordable housing and support for child care.

"It has become increasingly obvious that the City cannot do it alone," said
Councillor Olivia Chow, Children and Youth Advocate. "Toronto has lost more
than 1,600 child care spaces this year because of a shortfall in provincial
funding. We must all step up advocacy efforts to both our federal and
provincial governments to increase support for children."

The Children and Youth Advocate and the CYAC were appointed in 1998 to serve as
the focal point of the City's efforts to improve the health and well-being of
its children and youth. The CYAC has launched an Action Plan annually since

See for more information on the 2002
Report Card on Children and the Action Plan for Children 2003.

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