Investing In A Lifetime Of Success For Children

    McGuinty Government Providing $1.3 Million To Five Counties Children's

    PETERBOROUGH, ON, March 27 /CNW/ - The government is investing
$1.3 million in the Five Counties Children's Centre to help improve services
for children and youth with special needs so that they gain the skills they
need to succeed in life, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "Building a province with a great quality of life means building a
society where people are there for one another," said Premier McGuinty.  "How
we fund children's services says a lot about how we care for one another - and
that's why we all have to work to ensure that places like the Five Counties
Children's Centre get the support they need."
    Budget 2007 includes an additional investment of $30 million for services
to children with special needs including an additional $4 million to support
all Children's Treatment Centres.  This is in addition to $10 million
announced in the 2006 Budget to provide services to almost 5,000 children and
youth with special needs across the province.
    "Children may make up only a small part of the population, but they are
100 per cent of our future," said Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal.  "I'm grateful
that the Five Counties Children's Centre is here to give them a great start in
life - and proud to be here today with the Premier as part of this important
investment in Peterborough's future."
    "Five Counties Children's Centre appreciates that the government values
the importance of accessible treatment space for our families and a quality
work environment for our staff," said Diane Pick, Chief Executive Officer of
the Five Counties Children's Centre.  "This investment will replace aging
infrastructure that is not fully accessible and has numerous challenges.  The
re-development will expand the existing centre and provide enhanced
coordination and physical access for all of our programs and services."

    Other measures to benefit children include:

    -   Providing $18 million to more than double the number of children
        receiving autism intervention services since 2003. This will result
        in more than 1,100 children receiving these services
    -   Investing an additional $8 million in annual funding to address gaps
        in local service needs and reduce wait times for child and youth
        mental health centres
    -   Improving supports for at-risk families with children with an
        investment of over $5 million
    -   Supporting new child care spaces by providing $25 million this year,
        rising to $50 million annually in 2008-09 and
    -   Introducing a new Ontario Child Benefit, which would provide
        $2.1 billion in benefits cumulatively over the first five years.

    "Children's Treatment Centres help deliver services that are all about
providing children and their families with a better life," said Premier
McGuinty.  "Our focus on expanding opportunities is about making sure that
everyone in Ontario gets the chance to reach their full potential.  That's how
we build a stronger province - by working and building and dreaming together."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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