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November 25, 2005
Toronto Council approves funding for after-school child care
Toronto City Council decided today to allocate almost $4 million to provide
after-school recreation and care to children 6 to 12 years of age in vulnerable
communities next year.

Council approved reallocating $3.7 million from a reserve fund, enabling the
Children’s Services and Parks, Forestry and Recreation divisions to create the
new programming. The City estimates that about 143,000 Toronto children ages 6
to 12 are in need of some form of after-school care. Only about 15,400 children
in that age bracket are currently enrolled in licensed child care and about
9,500 registered in City recreation programs.

“This decision dovetails with the City’s Community Safety Plan,” said Mayor
David Miller. “These after-school programs fill an important gap in our efforts
to make sure young people across the city have access to constructive, positive
ways to spend their time.”

Councillor Olivia Chow, the City’s Child and Youth Advocate, commented, “For
too long there has been no affordable choice for parents. With this initiative,
three thousand children will be able to learn, play and be cared for after
school. I am most proud that young people will also be hired and trained as
staff for the program. This is a great first step at addressing both childcare
needs and youth employment.”

Council directed staff to include a leadership training component in the
initiative in order to help youth in vulnerable communities prepare for
employment. Other after-school activities may include, for example, arts and
crafts, homework clubs and sports.

Media contacts:

Patchen Barss
Office of the Mayor

Nathan Rotman
Executive Assistant to Councillor Olivia Chow
416-937-2701 (cell)

Brenda Patterson
General Manager
Children’s Services



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