The foundation for lifelong health, learning and behaviour is set in early childhood. A family’s income has a significant influence on these factors. Families need enough income to provide the best circumstances for their child including an adequate and nutritious diet, safe and secure housing and opportunities for their child to socialize and participate in recreational activities.
Children living in poverty, especially persistent poverty, are more likely to experience health, emotional, behavioural and mental health problems both as children and later as adults.
1. Implement the recommendations from the Housing, Transportation, Employment & Education and Food Security Action Plans of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County Poverty Reduction Strategy to address the root causes of child poverty.
2. Advocate to the provincial and federal governments for increased income and social supports for families with children, including the removal of child support as a deductible income source for families in receipt of social assistance.
3. Continue to fund the dental cleaning program for pregnant women on Ontario Works and expand free or reduced cost dental service to low-income women who do not have dental benefits.
4. Support early learning programs, child activities and social supports for young children (0 to 6 years of age) and their families.
5. Advocate for a universal child care system.
6. Increase the number of licensed child care spaces.
7. Support subsidised, no- or low-cost recreational opportunities, library programs and community events for children and their families.
8. Increase the number of health, recreational, social and educational program supports and services available in the community.
9. Support and expand Student Nutrition Programs both during the school year and in the summer months.
10. Support and promote mentorship programs for children and youth.
11. Municipal Council endorsement of a Children’s Charter.