EarlyON Child and Family Centres

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EarlyON Child and Family Centres Logo.

Child and Family programs offer a range of services to help children aged 0-6, their parents and caregivers:

  • strengthen parenting skills
  • support parent education
  • foster healthy child development

These services are free and offer safe and welcoming programs to all families.

Child and Family programs are offered by:

Contact the program directly for hours and registration.

Resources for EarlyON service providers

Services and Responsibilities 

EarlyON Child and Family Centres are designed to deliver and achieve key goals and objectives that include:

  • Parents and caregivers have access to high quality services to support them in their role as their children's first teachers, enhance their well-being, and enrich their knowledge about early learning and development
  • Children have access to play and inquiry-based learning opportunities and experience positive developmental health and wellbeing
  • Parents and caregivers have opportunities to strengthen their relationships with their children
  • Providing Francophone children and families with access to French language programs and gain enhanced knowledge about language and identity acquisition
  • Providing Indigenous children and families with access to culturally responsive programming
  • Providing parents and caregivers with timely, relevant and up to date information about community and specialized services
  • Local service providers collaborate and integrate services to meet community needs in an efficient and accessible way

    Guiding Principles

    These principles guide the development, delivery and evaluation of EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs and services in Peterborough:

    • Child and family centred: programs and services are designed and delivered to meet the unique needs of parents, caregivers and young children to support their learning, development and well-being.
    • Welcoming: provide a warm and welcoming environment to support growth and long-term success, creating a sense of belonging, well-being, engagement and expression.
    • High quality: support positive experiences and outcomes by offering programs and services that foster nurturing relationships between children, parents and caregivers.
    • Inclusive: programs and services are accessible and responsive to children, parents and caregivers with varying abilities and cultural, language, socio-economic, sexual orientation and religious backgrounds.
    • Integrated: programs and services are developed in collaboration with broader community services, school boards, early years partners, primary care providers, parents and caregivers.

    Community led: Communities, educators, parents and caregivers are engaged in designing EarlyON Centre programs and services that embrace and build on their strengths, address identified gaps and meet their unique needs.

    Child and Family Centre Vision

    The City of Peterborough is aligning itself with Ontario's vision for the early years and child care. Child and Family Centres are intended to support all children, parents and caregivers in learning, growing and connecting together by having access to a range of high-quality, inclusive and affordable early years and child care programs and services.

    Core Services

    At EarlyON Child and Family Centres, children and families in the City of Peterborough have access to high quality services free of charge. These services include engaging parents & caregivers by:

    • Information sharing and conversations about child development, parenting, nutrition, play and inquiry-based learning etc.
    • Pre and postnatal support programs to enhance parent and caregiver well-being that enrich adult-child interactions with children present
    • Targeted outreach opportunities for parent and caregivers not currently using Children and Family Centre Services (e.g., newcomers to Ontario, teen parents, low-income families, etc.)

    Supporting Early Learning & Development:

    Build responsive adult-child relationships and encourage children's exploration by offering drop-in programs and other services that are supported by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years.

    Making connections for families by:

    • Offering support to parents and caregivers by responding to concerns about their child's development and connecting them to additional supports for primary care or other regulated health professionals
    • Sharing information and facilitating connections with specialized community services such as public health, education, child care and child welfare
    • Providing information about programs and services available for the whole family beyond the early years

    Policies and Procedures

    All EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs are delivered in a way that promotes the health, safety and well-being of children and families being served. All service providers have policies and procedures in place regarding:

    • Vulnerable Sector Screens
    • First Aid
    • Emergency Plans
    • Sanitation and maintenance
    • Workplace health and safety relating to staff
    • Complaints and resolutions processes
    • Reporting serious incidents to the City of Peterborough

Qualified teams and staff

Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) have specialized knowledge and expertise in child development and play and inquiry-based learning. They play a key role in delivering high quality early years programs.

Every EarlyON Child and Family Centre has qualified staff teams that are responsible for delivering programs and services. Qualified teams at each location include at least one RECE to deliver the core services related to supporting early learning and development.

RECE exemption:

Each EarlyON Child and Family Centre team of staff must have at least one RECE as a member. The City of Peterborough may grant a temporary director approval where a centre is unable to meet the staffing requirements. Service providers must apply to the City of Peterborough Children's Services Program Manager for director approval.

Exemptions, if granted, are temporary and will be reviewed on an annual basis during the budget process. City staff will monitor and work with EarlyON Child and Family Centre service providers to develop strategies to meet this requirement.

Qualifications upgrade program:

The Ministry of Education has funding available for individuals working within the early year's sector aiming to pursue their Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma designation.

Funding agreements

The City of Peterborough has funding agreements with local service providers for the delivery of EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs and services to ensure that:

  • EarlyON Centre service providers are in compliance with Municipal and Provincial guidelines and legislation
  • The City has quality early years programs and services for Peterborough families

All EarlyON Centre service providers in a funding agreement with the City must meet these requirements and expectations:

  • Required to provide consistent, high quality early years programs and services at no fee to participants
  • Expected to use How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years for the development, delivery and evaluation of these programs
  • Expected to consider the needs and perspectives of diverse children and families including access barriers they may experience when seeking appropriate and welcoming early years programs and services that reflect their unique needs
  • Required to notify the City on any significant program downsizing, site openings/closures, or changes to the hours of operation at each site, and must participate in the annual service contract and budget review
    • Annual service contract review is used to ensure that operators are meeting their annual contractual obligations with the City of Peterborough
    • EarlyON Centre service providers are subject to random auditing to ensure compliance
  • Expected to participate in the Investing in Quality Initiative that supports continuous quality assurance for organizations providing early years programs in the City of Peterborough

EarlyON Serious Incident reporting

EarlyON Child and Family Centre service providers are responsible for managing and reporting all serious incidents which affect the health, safety and well-being of children and caregivers attending EarlyON Child and Family Centres. Service providers report this information directly to the Children's Services Program Manager.

The City of Peterborough defines a serious incident as:

  1. Death of a child or caregiver that occurs on the premises;
  2. Allegation of abuse and/or neglect of a child;
  3. Life-threatening injury to a child or caregiver or life-threatening illness of a child or caregiver that requires treatment by a regulated health professional (doctor, nurse, dentist, etc.) and/or a life-threatening injury that involves police, fire or ambulance/EMS/paramedics;
  4. Missing or unsupervised child(ren)
    1. Child was found
    2. Child is still missing
  5. An unplanned disruption of the normal operations of a child and family centre premises that poses a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children and families attending the centre:
    1. Fire
    2. Flood
    3. Gas Leak
    4. Detection of Carbon Monoxide
    5. Outbreak
    6. Lockdown
    7. Other Emergency Relocation or Temporary Closure.
  6. A situation with high potential for public criticism of the City and/or ministry and/or if the situation may lead to questions being asked by the media.

How to report a serious incident:

  1. You will need to complete an online Serious Incident Report (SIR). You must submit the SIRs report to the City of Peterborough Children's Services Manager within 24 hours of becoming aware of the incident.
  2. The City will review the information, and follow up accordingly. Service providers are responsible for reporting all serious incidents, as defined in the categories above that occur in an EarlyON Child and Family Centres to the City of Peterborough.

EarlyON Child and Family Centre service providers are required to have a serious incident internal policy in place that addresses how to:

  • Identify a serious incident
  • Respond to a serious incident
  • Report a serious incident to the City of Peterborough

EarlyON Child and Family Program Serious Incident Protocol

Immediately Child and Family Centre service providers will:

  • Address health and safety with client(s)
  • Notify Children's Aid Society, as appropriate
  • Notify all other applicable parties, as required

Within 24 hours Child and Family Centre service providers will:

  • Determine if the incident is a serious incident to be reported to the City of Peterborough, and if so, complete and submit a Serious Incident Report (SIR), retaining a copy for tracking purposes.

Upon receipt of SIR the City of Peterborough will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of SIR
  • Review all information and action taken by the Child and Family Centre and determine whether any additional follow up action or response is required (e.g. report to a children's aid society)
  • Review the SIR and determine whether the incident meets the threshold for reporting to the Ministry of Education

Where an incident has occurred that may result in media attention, the City will report this to the Early Years Advisor at the Ministry of Education.