Children get a Healthy Start to Life

Healthy Babies Healthy Children

The Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program will continue to support healthy child development by:

  • Screening pregnant women and new mothers;
  • Offering information on healthy child development and parenting to families with newborns; and
  • Providing home visiting intervention to at-risk families.

In 2015-16, the ministry will invest $89.6 million in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program, which includes funding for the Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children program.

Early Years Community Support

The ministry will continue to support healthy child development through the following programs:

  • Infant Hearing Program, which identifies babies born deaf or hard of hearing and provides services to these children and their families to support language and early literacy development;
  • Blind-Low Vision Program, which provides specialized early intervention and parent education services needed by families of children born blind or with low vision to help them achieve healthy development;
  • Preschool Speech and Language Program, which identifies children with speech and language delays/disorders as early as possible and provides these children with services to enable them to develop communication and early literacy skills;
  • Infant Development Program, which provides early intervention services for children up to age five with, or at risk of, developmental delays;
  • Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit, which provides an opportunity for all children in the province to receive a developmental evaluation and review at 18 months of age completed by the primary health care provider in collaboration with parents; and
  • Student Nutrition Program will continue to help provide nutritious meals and snacks to children and youth – including those in higher-needs communities – to support learning and healthy growth and development.
    • In 2014, the province announced an investment of $32 million over three years as part of a five-year plan to expand and enhance Ontario's Student Nutrition Program. The increased investment will support an expansion of 340 new programs, enhancements to existing programs and an expansion to on-reserve educational settings. In 2014-15, 190 of the proposed 340 new programs were implemented serving approximately 31,000 children and youth and enhanced program supports were provided to approximately 300 student nutrition programs. The ministry is also working in partnership with First Nations organizations and communities to develop and implement Student Nutrition Programs in some on-reserve educational settings over the next two years.

In 2015-16, the ministry will invest $127.1 million in Early Years Community Support.