Font Size:

Government of Ontario makes historic investment in child development and rehabilitation

March 24, 2021

This is an amazing day for Ontario families. The government is making an historic investment in the child development and rehabilitation sector of $240 million over four years to address wait lists for pediatric rehabilitation and child development, making sure kids get services in a timely way.

“Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario (EKO) and our members greatly appreciate the financial support announced today in the 2021-22 provincial budget by Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy,” says EKO CEO Jennifer Churchill. “This is a profound investment that ensures the high-quality care kids and their families deserve will reach more kids and significantly reduce wait times.”

Ontario’s child development and rehabilitation agencies across the province provide services and programs, including core rehabilitation therapies—physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language therapy—to more than 150,000 kids every year, at home, in schools and in the community.

This will allow our members to see more of the kids who are waiting for all levels of service—whether they need only a few visits or many visits to help them achieve their goals.

“On behalf of our sector, we thank the Government of Ontario for this meaningful support, and for ongoing efforts to address the urgent treatment needs of kids with disabilities and their families,” says EKO Chair Penny Smiley.

The funding addresses an increasingly urgent gap between the time a child may miss developmental milestones and when they enter service. Today 80,000 kids are waiting for treatment. This funding will enable providers to increase staffing, develop new models of service aligned with families’ expectations, and increase programs that support families and family engagement.

“We want to acknowledge the investment in capital and how important these providers are to their communities,” adds Churchill. “We’re thrilled to see that the government is making sure community-based providers are able to welcome kids and families and provide care in facilities that enable leading clinical practice.”


Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority Logo
One Kids Place Logo
CTC Logo
Cochrane Temiskaming Children's Treatment Centre Logo
John McGivney Children’s Centre Logo
Surrey Place Logo
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Logo
Children’s Treatment Network Logo
The logo turn the word
TVCC logo
NEO Kids Logo
Hands The Family Help Network Logo
George Jeffrey Children’s Centre Logo
Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth Logo
Pathways Health Centre for Children Logo
Five Counties Children’s Centre Logo
Lansdowne Children’s Centre Logo
KidsAbility Logo
Lumenus Community Services Logo
Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre Logo
Grandview Kids Logo
Niagara Children’s Centre Logo
Hamilton Health Sciences Logo
Mackenzie Health Logo
Did You Hear?!

EKO Spring Symposium is Back in 2025!

Every two years EKO hosts this pinnacle event for the child development sector and the largest gathering of professionals and stakeholders from Ontario and across Canada.

learn more about the event!