Only one in ten children in Toronto have access to full-week after-school programs, reveals new study



    TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The vast majority of Toronto's 6 to 12 year olds
do not benefit from full-time after-school programs, according to a new study
by the Middle Childhood Matters Coalition of Toronto. The lack of supervised
after-school activities increases the risk of delinquent behaviours, crime and
academic problems among young people, according to the study.
    "There are not enough quality childcare centers available to parents in
Toronto. Parents who work or go to school depend on after-school programs to
provide a safe and engaging space for their kids since most jobs don't cater
to parents' childcare issues," said Jacqueline St. Kitts, a Toronto parent.
    Key spokespersons for Middle Childhood Matters Coalition Toronto (MCMC)
will hold a press conference on Monday to present their research findings
detailing Toronto's limited after-school programs for middle childhood years
children.

    
    Middle Childhood Matters Report Release

    January 19, 2008

    10:30 a.m.

    St. Christopher House (248 Ossington Ave.)

    Speakers:

    Lidia Monaco, Director, St. Christopher House
    Arlene Perly Rae, Journalist and Author, Spokesperson for the Middle
     Childhood Matters Coalition
    Lorna Weigand and Maureen Anglin, MCMC Co-Chairs
    Jacqueline St. Kitts, Parent
    

    The Coalition worked with the Community Social Planning Council of
Toronto to map after-school programs across Toronto over the past year. They
found striking disparities between the inner suburbs and the former city of
Toronto, where resources more than double those of Scarborough despite having
significantly fewer children.
    While many parents are able to ensure the safety and care of their
children through a patchwork of arts and sports programs and coordinate
schedules with babysitters, grandparents, or other parents, they recognize
that the situation is not ideal.
    Lorna Weigand, MCMC, Toronto Co-Chair adds, "Afterschool programs provide
an important learning environment where a child has the opportunity to
develop. Research shows that these programs are more than just supervised
care, as children who participate in after-school programs are more likely to
succeed academically, are more self-confident, and have stronger social
skills."
    The report shows that while considerable investments have been made in
early years and best start programs, as well as in teen leadership and
development programs, too little investment has been made in Toronto's 6-12
year old children.
    Middle Childhood Matters Coalition Toronto is working with parents and
caregivers across Toronto to voice the need for high quality, accessible and
affordable after-school programs through a comprehensive strategy for all
ages.





For further information:

For further information: Christopher Wulff, (647) 654-3160,
chris@socialplanningtoronto.org

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COMMUNITY SOCIAL PLANNING COUNCIL OF TORONTO

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