The Our Kids Network Early Years Initiative works with communities to understand and take action on their own local early years needs by providing opportunities to work collectively. Based on Early Development Instrument data (EDI) and other neighbourhood characteristics, the initiative provides the opportunity for local community groups to work together to plan and develop resources that are most needed and supported at the local level to address early childhood development and transition to school. The OKN Early Years Initiative is a three-year program (2016 to 2019) funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
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Currently four neighbourhoods are utilizing EDI scores and local experiences to engage community members and support action.
North Georgetown is the neighbourhood bounded by Trafalgar Rd to Credit River; 15 Side Road to Credit River West Branch; and Mountainview Road S./Guelph to Main St./Wilderwood Road. This neighbourhood was selected in 2017 due to significant demographic change over the past 5 years and a high number of children who are vulnerable on one or more EDI domains. North Georgetown continues to be underserviced and there is a real need for a greater supports and services within the community.
Escarpment is bounded by Millborough Line to Bronte Street South/Duncan Line; Steeles Avenue West to Burnhamthorpe Road; and Bell School Line to Henderson Road/1st Line. This neighbourhood was selected due to high numbers of children with moderate EDI vulnerability. The neighbourhood is also the site for a new school and community hub, and is already responding to increasing diversity and newcomers in the area, providing the Early Years Initiative with opportunities to build on existing initiatives.
The Early Years Initiative started in Acton in September 2014 when local principals voiced their concerns about how many children in Kindergarten were unprepared. After looking at EDI scores, the group discovered that 38% of children in Kindergarten had one or more vulnerabilities. The area of most concern was in the Physical Health and Wellbeing domain, with fine and gross motor skills having the highest number of children vulnerable. Learn more Acton Case Study
Upper East Milton is the neighbourhood bounded by James Snow Parkway, Derry Rd, Thompson Rd, and the 401 highway. This neighbourhood was chosen in 2016 as an Early Years Initiative site because of its dramatic growth, diverse population, and lower number of programs found within its boundaries. Despite having a moderate EDI score, Upper East Milton has 110 children vulnerable on one or more EDI domains, providing the Early Years Initiative with an opportunity to have a high impact within this neighbourhood. Learn more
The South Central Burlington neighbourhood is bounded by the Queen Elizabeth Way, Lake Ontario, and Walkers Line. This area is diverse in terms of socio-economic status of residents, due to a higher Social Risk Index, a substantial social housing population, and higher rental rates compared to other areas within Halton Region. This neighbourhood was identified because of the high number of community facilities and services, and the ability to enhance existing opportunities and grants. Many table members have established relationships and sit at other community tables, such as the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Learn more
The North Central Oakville neighbourhood is bounded by the QEW and Upper Middle Rd, Sixteen Mile Creek and Eighth line. There are few services offered in the neighbourhood and few spaces available to attend programs, beyond an OEYC satellite, parks and recreation, and the library. This neighbourhood was chosen as an Early Years Initiative site due to limited services, transition to a more culturally diverse population, and the fact that local schools are enthusiastic about addressing the transition to school for kids. Learn more
Early Year Initiative Map