May 6, 2016
Ontario is investing nearly $90 million dollars to expand child care and child and family support programs in schools and create spaces in schools for community use.
As a response to recommendations in Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan, the province committed to supporting the use of schools as community hubs. Community hubs bring together and integrate a range of needed services under one roof to better serve their communities. A community hub can be a school, neighbourhood centre or other public space that houses coordinated services. Ontario’s nearly 5,000 schools offer the ideal location for community hubs, as many of them are the heart of their community and are accessible.
As part of today’s $90 million investment to further enable the development of community hubs, the province will provide:
Ontario is also making it easier for community partners to create community hubs in schools by expanding the list of public organizations able to purchase or lease surplus school property before it is placed on the open market. This list will now include Children’s Mental Health Agencies, First Nations and Métis Organizations and others. More time will also be allowed for organizations to place an offer, allowing greater opportunity for continued use of these properties by the community.
Improving community access and increasing services offered in schools is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number one priority — growing the economy and creating jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is also making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
“Schools deliver one of our most cherished services — publicly funded education — and school buildings are ideally located within our communities to deliver additional public services. These investments and regulatory changes are an important part of our vision to unlock the potential of community hubs and make Ontario the best place to work, live and raise a family.”
— Liz Sandals, Minister of Education
“Today’s announcement responds to the recommended short-term strategy for schools in Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan. We have heard that community partners need more time and information in order to consider opportunities to use schools as hubs. I am very pleased that Ontario is making changes to help local partners better serve their communities.”
— Karen Pitre, Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Hubs and Chair of the Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group
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Media Contact: Shawn Ogborne, Executive Assistant to Han Dong, MPP for Trinity-Spadina, 416-325-4927
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