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Supporting Child Development

 
Early learning and child care professionals are important in supporting child development. Learn about resources and services that can support you.

Importance of child development

The first six years of life are a critical time in a child’s growth and development. This is when parts of the brain that control how a child listens and sees, talks, moves and expresses emotions are formed. Healthy eating, being active, getting enough sleep and staying safe optimize healthy child development.

Early experiences in the first few years of life also help to shape a child’s social and emotional well-being. They provide the foundation for how a child learns, thinks, feels and behaves as they transition into adulthood.

The earlier developmental concerns are addressed, the better the outcomes for children and families. You play an important role in supporting the development of the children you care for. Halton Region provides resources and services that can assist you in this critical role.

Keeping child's development on track

The following tools and strategies can help to keep the development of children on track:

  • Use the Nipissing District Developmental Screen™ (NDDS). This tool opens the door to conversations about a child’s development using a format that is familiar to many parents.
  • Explore training opportunities for you and your colleagues.
  • Familiarize yourself with programs and services available to your setting and to families who have concerns about their child’s development.
Halton Region
Other agencies

Community services

Child care professionals' supports

Parent or professional concern Service provider Contact Services
Help with cost of child care Halton Region
  • Dial 311
Access to basic needs
  • Income (Ontario Works)
  • Housing
  • Food
Halton Region
Risk of harm to child
  • Investigation of reports
  • Support to families
Halton Children’s Aid Society
Newcomers to Canada
  • Settlement services
  • Translation
Halton Multicultural Council
Other programs for families of young children EarlyON Child and Family Centres Local EarlyON Child and Family Centres:
  • Burlington: 905-632-9377
  • Oakville: 905-849-6366
  • Milton: 905-876-1244
  • Halton Hills: 905-873-2960
  • Drop-in programs
  • Registered programs
  • Groups for parents
Ontario Public Libraries Contact local library for more information:
  • Programs for families of young children that promote literacy, social and listening skills
  • Books and other resources available in English, French and other languages
Looking for child care The Halton Resource Connection  
Issues with child care Ministry of Education
Funding for child care centres Halton Region
Support and resources to child care centres Halton Region
Resources and supports for children with special needs Halton Region
Support to child care staff and kindergarten teachers The Halton Resource Connection  

Parenting supports

Halton Parents Information on finding child care, healthy growth and development, common parenting concerns, and links to programs, services and community resources.
Halton EarlyON Child and Family Centres Programs and services to parents, caregivers and children newborn-six years.
ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids) (external link) A non-profit children's mental health centre serving children aged 0 - 18 years experiencing emotional, behavioural, developmental, learning and/or social difficulties, and their families.

Healthy development supports

MacHealth (external link) Information on Ontario's Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit, including Nipissing Developmental Screening ®Tool Video examples.
ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids) (external link) A non-profit children's mental health centre serving children aged 0 - 18 years experiencing emotional, behavioural, developmental, learning and/or social difficulties, and their families.
ASK Clinics For Halton Region families with children 0 - 5 years of age who have concerns about their child’s development.
Diseases & Infections (Halton Region Health Department) Information on communicable diseases and/or immunization.

Support for healthy eating

Eat Right Ontario (external link) Information on nutrition and healthy eating.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (external link) This guide will help you to understand the nutrition needs of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in your care; how much food is needed; what types of foods are better; and the importance of physical activity in the day.
Health Canada: Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants 0-24 months (external link) This joint statement by the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada Health Canada provides feeding recommendations for infants 0 - 6 months of age and for young children 6 - 24 months old.
Halton Region: Nutri-STEP Information for parents on healthy eating and young children using the NutriSTEP screen.

Other supports

Halton Community Services Inventory (external link) Access to Halton Region community services and organizations database.
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