You are here Skip Navigation Links > Home > Topics > Early childhood

Early childhood

All parents want the best for their babies and children. That means making sure they get the best possible start in life.

A child's early years from before birth to age six are very important for healthy development. This is a time when a child’s brain and body are developing at a rapid pace. Healthy babies and toddlers are more likely to stay healthy through their childhood, teen and adult years.

A strong, loving relationship between a parent and a child supports the child’s healthy growth and development.

Government services

Services to support your child's health


Hearing

All newborns have their hearing tested within a few days of birth.

Speech and language

Find out about your child's speech and language development, and the help that's available.

Ontario Early Years Centres

Visit your local Ontario Early Years Centre. You can connect with other parents, share your experiences and find out more about parenting and community programs. These centres also have activities for both parents and caregivers and children up to age six.

Developmental disabilities

The Ministry funds several programs to help children up to age five with developmental disabilities. There are also programs for children who are at risk of developmental delay.

For more information contact the regional office nearest you.

Blindness and low vision

Ontario also offers programs to support children who are born blind or with low vision.

Learn more

A checklist for parents

To help you see if your child's growth and development is on track, take a look at the Nipissing District Developmental Screen. This checklist is available for Ontario parents at no charge.