Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Oakville today to open a new facility at ErinoakKids, Ontario’s largest children’s treatment centre for children and youth with special needs. The new ErinoakKids facility, along with two additional new buildings in Mississauga and Brampton, will double the centre’s space and provide more care to children and youth in Ontario with special needs.
The three new facilities will consolidate 10 existing spaces into modern, state-of-the-art buildings, making it easier for families to access the care they need, minimize travel and ease the anxiety of finding the right place for the right care. ErinoakKids helps more than 16,000 children and youth living with physical, intellectual, developmental, and communication disabilities, including autism, every year.
Children, youth and their families will benefit from more responsive and coordinated services, including stimulating therapeutic playrooms and multi-sensory rooms, an audiology area for hearing aid fitting and dispensing, a family resource centre to support parents and caregivers, and a youth drop-in.
The government is also investing more than $300 million in new funding over three years to add 2,000 new teachers, specialized support staff and education workers to help eliminate wait lists for special education assessments, as well as an additional $62 million in the Ontario Autism Program.
Making sure children and youth with special needs can get the right supports to reach their full potential is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.
- Ontario has invested $163 million in the construction of the three new ErinoakKids facilities in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton.
- In 2017–18, the province invested $630 million in programs and services for children and youth with special needs and their families.
- The $62 million toward autism supports in Budget 2018 is in addition to the more than $500 million over five years already provided to expand and improve services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- To improve special education services in schools and eliminate waitlists for assessments, Ontario is investing more than $300 million in new funding over three years.
- Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy is helping children and youth with special needs get the services they need at home, at school, in the community and as they transition to adulthood.
- As part of the Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion over three years to expand services for adults living with developmental disabilities.
To read the full bulletin from the Ontario Newsroom click here.