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A Message from the Premier's Special Advisor on Early Learning

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Governments, service providers and experts around the world have envisioned the concept of a truly integrated system of children's services for many decades.

I know from the very extensive consultation process undertaken for the early learning report that there is remarkable support for moving forward – and considerable talent – among service providers and local and provincial child and family service leaders. Nonetheless, my report provided only a general vision and notion of how to implement this concept. As a result, there's still a need to clarify some of the basics. For example, while hubs and other examples of high levels of collaboration in a community among providers can be a pre-requisite for true integration, they are not the destination. Too many still imagine that the "centre" concept means "one stop shopping", and that all services would be located in a single place rather than the more virtual "no wrong door" notion that means when a family enters a single agency, it enters every agency.

The recent outreach the Minister has led and the ideas and actions arising as a result that are described in this update, are critical to getting both the framework and implementation process done well. Getting it right is key. We have waited a long time to move deliberately toward a system that works for children and families. I am confident that we are moving in the right direction, through this thorough and carefully considered approach, and that we will indeed achieve our shared vision of the best future for Ontario's children, and all Ontarians.

Charles Pascal
The Premier's Special Advisor on Early Learning