Regional Council received 60 delegations regarding potential changes to the Region of Peel’s Learn.Play.Care Centres. A report from the Commissioner of Human Services titled “Proposal to Redirect Current Child Care Funding to Increase Services and Meet the Needs of a Changing Early Learning and Child Care System” recommends the closure of all Regionally-operated Learn.Play.Care Centres by September, 2012 and that current funding for the direct delivery of child care be redirected to Purchase of Service (POS) centres to increase child care subsidy to 975 children, increase supports for special needs and service priorities and enhancements.
Delegates, consisting of parents, Early Childhood Educators, and other community stakeholders, expressed concern that the recommendations were made with insufficient consultation with affected parents and also indicated that if the centres were to close, more time would be required for parents to find alternative care. Delegates also spoke of the high quality care provided to children at Peel’s Learn.Play.Care Centres, as well as the excellent supports for families, particularly those with special needs.
Subsequent to discussion by Members of Regional Council, Council resolved to convene a Task Force of Council to conduct consultation sessions with all stakeholders; to explore options related to the Region’s Learn.Play.Care Centres, and; to report back to Regional Council with recommendations in September, 2012. The issue will also be placed on an agenda for the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee to strategize advocacy with MPs and MPPs and to brief them on the current situation of day care in the Region of Peel.
Regional Council approved awarding of a contract for professional engineering services for the Heart Lake Community Recycling Centre to Genivar Inc. for an estimated contract total of $652,396.80 (excluding applicable taxes), under Capital Project 12-6509, in accordance with Purchasing By-law 63-2008;
One of the Region of Peel’s Term of Council Priorities is to increase waste diversion. The establishment of a network of Community Recycling Centres (CRC’s) has been identified as an effective method to increase waste diversion by providing for safe, efficient and reliable disposal of household hazardous waste, reusable goods and recyclables.
Construction of the Heart Lake CRC will alleviate pressures that the Brampton and Battleford CRCs experience on a daily basis and especially during peak seasons.
Regional Council passed a resolution directing the Regional Chair to write to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) concerning the low-income children’s dental program, known as Healthy Smiles Ontario, to request ongoing funding, increased funding to reimburse local dentists, and a review of the eligibility criteria.
Peel Public Health is utilizing three strategies for implementing the Healthy Smiles Ontario program in Peel; 1) reimbursement for service from local dentists, 2) development of new low-income dental clinics in two of Peel’s Community Health Centres, and 3) increased preventative services through use of portable dental equipment.
The MOHLTC will provide 100 per cent funding until March 2013. Based on the response to other low-income dental programs, it is anticipated that at a minimum, an additional $600,000 would be required to meet the service needs.
To be eligible for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program clients must be 17 years and under, Ontario residents, members of a household with an Adjusted Family Net Income of $20,000/year or less and have no access to any form of dental coverage.
The Healthy Smiles Ontario program operates in combination with the existing cost-shared program – Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT). The CINOT program provides dental care for only those low-income children who are in urgent need of care.