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Develop and implement an Early Years System Plan (Children's Strategy).

greenstatusFinal update (September 2014)
The Early Years centres in Waterloo Region and surrounding townships offer free programs and services for families and children ages 0 to 6 years. A new planning body was created to support the development of an Early Years Plan; the Children's Planning Table was formed in 2011 and has over 300 professionals listed as members. The Children’s Planning Table is guiding the development of the Early Years System Plan over the next few years. The objectives of an Early Years System Plan are to:

  • Develop goals and priorities that meet the needs of children.
  • Collaborate with community partners to integrate services into one system that supports children and families.
  • Maximize support and funding for the system.

A community engagement approach was taken to develop common understanding, common language, and clarify priority areas. In June 2013, two working groups were formed with Access and Service identified priority actions. In addition, two key activities in 2013/14 involved the development of a Child Well Being Data Dashboard and completion of a Parent Engagement strategy.  Funding from the Hallman Foundation has been obtained to provide dedicated staff resources to support the community development work, and over 60 agencies are now engaged in shared planning.  The staffing resources will help to move the work ahead at a steady pace and will eventually result in the completion of an Early Years Community Plan. The Children's Planning Table is now established as a key planning body for all early years services from pre-birth to age 12. The creation of a community plan and the work of the Children’s Planning Table will extend beyond the term of the current Strategic Plan.

Progress Update (September 2013)

Newly formed Children’s Planning Table will guide the process and development of the Early Years System Plan. This will be a phased approach over two years using a strong community engagement approach which focuses on collective impact. Year One involves the development of common knowledge, understanding and language. Year Two began with a community forum attended by over 200 professionals. Endorsement for the vision and key objectives was received. Two working groups were formed in June 2013, Access and Service. Two forums are scheduled in September and November 2013. The September forum will focus on system mapping, areas of potential focus using functional analysis and potential project identification for the working groups. The November forum will focus on selecting/endorsing key directions  for the working groups to move forward. This will inform the writing of an Early Years Strategy. It is anticipated that this initiative will continue well beyond 2014

Progress Update (January 2013)

In 2011 the Region of Waterloo Children and Parent Services committee endorsed a decision to expand the mandate from 0-6 to 0-12 yrs with the potential of expanding up to 18 yrs of age. This change in mandate and movement to a larger planning body was supported by the community through two planning forums held in 2011.

The new committee is now called The Children's Planning Table.  A terms of reference, mandate, vision and planning principles were developed early in 2012. The purpose is to serve as an integrated planning table for early years services from pre-birth to 12 years of age.  The current membership has representation from over 40 agencies, meetings are conducted in an open forum format with attendance ranging from 65 to 150 participants.

Four meetings were scheduled for 2012 with a focus on developing a common knowledge and understanding of service system integration.  To date members have heard about other community approaches to system integration, evaluation and research and provided input into general areas of focus that will shape the development of a plan in 2013.

Progress Indicators

  • Develop framework with ROWCAPS
  • Host a system planning forum
  • Identification of focus areas for year one
  • Year one plan created
  • Annual check in and progress report

Related Links


greenindicator   Strong progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (PDF)
yellowindicator   Moderate progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (RTF)
redindicator   Progress needed   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (Flash)