The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is proud of their work with helping students achieve the best possible start to their education, as they do their part in the Best Start Hubs program. The Best Start Hubs program is a comprehensive, evidence-based early learning and care strategy designed to help give Ontario's children the best possible start in life and help them achieve success in school.
Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, Sean Monteith, spoke about the program.
“Our objective in the KPDSB is to be a major-force when it comes to the Early Learning Centres and Best Start Hubs in our schools. We’ve been successful in our partnerships to bring that to a number of our schools. In Dryden, we were hoping to have everything ready to go by the start of the past school year, we weren’t, but we are on track now. We couldn’t do it without our partners. I believe that the best locations for the hubs is in schools. It benefits the transition for young people going from the Early Learning Centre into classrooms. There’s a level of familiarity there for the parents and students. We’re proud of that partnership,” he said.
Best Start is distinct from other initiatives in that it:
- will help parents and families, regardless of individual economic or social circumstances
- responds to the clear message from communities that Ontario needs more integrated accessible services for young children and families
- strengthens, enhances, builds on and integrates existing programs and services, rather than creating new structures or organizations
- Asks all existing organizations that provide services for children from the prenatal stage through to Grade One to share their expertise, and plan together
- Is community driven. The types of services and service targets/outcomes are set by the provincial government, but the planning for how those services will be delivered and integrated will be done by the communities.
At the community level, key features of Best Start are:
- Childcare expansion in and around Schools
- The establishment of neighbourhood Early Learning and Care Hubs that provide a range of integrated services and supports for families with young children
- Support flexible implementation strategies that make sense for communities
- Create an integrated early learning and care program combining preschool, JK and SK with high quality childcare during non-school hours
- Create more licensed childcare spaces and assist more families in need with childcare costs