This month, the Wellington County Social Services Committee meeting will be mostly about the future of childcare and after school programs, from the County staff’s own internal plans to the outside funding changes from the Province. New funding models and new plans for the future are about half the meeting, the other half will focus on Housing 101 in Wellington County, plus maybe (?) an Ontario Works update.
NOTE: This meeting takes place at 1 pm in Guthrie Room at the Wellington County Administration Centre on Woolwich Street.
Wellington Child Care and Early Years Service Plan, 2023 – 2027 – The Children’s Early Years Division has to submit to the provincial government a plan for programs and services. The plan was devised in input from service partners, research in the childcare field, and work already in development by the division, and there are 16 priorities in five principle areas including high quality, equitably available, equitably accessible, affordable child care and early years services, and leadership and accountability. Once approved by the committee, the plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Education. You can see the full plan here.
New Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Funding Formula – Back at the beginning of April (but too late to put on April’s meeting agenda), the Ministry of Education released the new funding formula discussion paper for the next few years of childcare funding. It’s noted in the report that paper is not policy, and should not be taken as a hint of what the final document will look like.
In the paper, there are six different grants identified but County staff are presently uncertain how the options will affect the funding of local childcares, which comes from something called the Wellington General Operating Grant. In the report, staff notes that the more structured model presented in the paper may limit flexibility, but it may also streamline some of the existing grants and processes. In any event, “Ongoing transformation of the child care system is additionally expected to require significant administrative effort and it is uncertain how the new funding formula will impact current levels of funding, including administration funding.”
Overview of the Housing Services Division– Like last month’s presentation about daycare and EarlyON, this is a kind of orientation session for the County’s social housing supply and the Housing Services department. Staff will talk about all the various types of housing, the number of units, the fight against homelessness and housing instability, and various future programs and projects.
Ontario Works– There’s no formal written report attached to this item, but Ontario Works is included on the agenda, so it may come up in the conversation; perhaps update Ontario Works numbers from the first part of this year.